Artie and Diane agree to look after their three grandkids when their type-A helicopter parents need to leave town for work. Problems arise when the kids' 21st-century behavior collides with Artie and Diane's old-school methods.
Alexander's day begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by more calamities. However, he finds little sympathy from his family and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him, his mom, dad, brother and sister - who all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
The parents of Alice, a controlled mom, agree to take care of her 3 crazy children, Harper, Turner and Barker, because they feel they don't see their grandchildren enough, when Alice and her husband Phil go on a business trip for Phil. But when everything goes downhill, they need to find a way to prove to Alice, Phil, and themselves that they can be great grandparents.
In the beginning of the film, Artie mentions that he "feels 10 years younger" than he is, and "looks 10 years younger than that." Diane responds by mentioning that if he's 38 years old, he should paint the house. This means that Artie is 58 years old. Later, Alice says that she had Harper when she was 26, and because Harper is 12, Alice is 38 at the time of the movie. This means that Artie had Alice when he was 20, not 23 as he says. See more »
Parental Guidance is a pretty decent family comedy about bridging the generation gap, and the process of re-building relationships that have been neglected for a very long time.
It is obvious to me that neither Billy Crystal or Bette Midler get too many good movie roles nowadays, and I think you can clearly see their joy at being back in the limelight in starring roles. They deliver strong performances and have great timing, and it is a pity that the source material is so weak to begin with. The basic plot is okay with me, but some of the comedy is far-fetched and grandchild Barker's bizarre behavior is used as an excuse for comedy too many times.
I liked a couple of scenes, which deal with the pressure of constantly keeping up with the technological advances of this day and age, with Artie losing his job because he doesn't tweet or know what an app is. This is a very relevant issue and unfortunately it is lightly dealt with.
All in all, the plot is thoroughly predictable and the points the movie wishes to make are obvious to all without any hint of subtlety, but the strong acting performances saves it from being a train wreck.
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