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Capone seriously believes anyone with their name in the credits of PARENTAL GUIDANCE deserves a smack!!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.

Is there a less inspired filmmaker than Andy Fickman? I'm sure there is, but for the 104 minutes of my life that I'll never get back watching PARENTAL GUIDANCE, I was hard pressed to think of one. If you didn't know better (and I don't), you could almost envision a scenario where Fickman actually hates his audience, but thanks to his semi-hit THE GAME PLAN (with Dwayne Johnson learning he's the father of an 8-year-old girl), I guess he gets to insult us with movie after movie like SHE'S THE MAN; his re-teaming with The Rock, RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN; and truly one of the most appalling films in the last five years, YOU AGAIN.

PARENTAL GUIDANCE isn't offensive (if anything, it's sickeningly sweet) or rip-roaringly dumb. It just sits there being obvious, predictable and trite. Billy Crystal and Bette Midler play two old people, so you can guess the jokes that come flying out of their mouths like a soft bowel movement. Crystal is a baseball announcer for a minor league team, who is fired when the team decides to modernize the franchise. When his daughter (Marisa Tomei) and her husband (Tom Everett Scott) decide to take their first vacation together in years, they call on the grandparents to babysit for the first time. Tomei is something of a modern parent, who doesn't believe in sugar for her kids or criticizing them; while Crystal and Midler are, shock of shocks, old fashioned. Tomei delays leaving on the trip a couple of times because she's petrified to leave her kids with these ancient maniacs.

What follows are antics, plain and simple and dull. Grandpa Artie hates that his grandson's little league team doesn't believe in outs or keeping score properly, and he storms the umpire to make his protests known. He secretly sets up a job interview with ESPN while he's visiting, but it conflicts with a playdate he's supposed to go to with his grandkid, so he drags the kid along with him. What could go wrong? Meanwhile, Grandma Diane is teaching her granddaughter how to wear makeup because she's going to a party at the home of a boy she likes. Buried in the schmaltz are messages about family, and learning to live in the new information age while maintaining a love for old-school things that made us more human and caring.

PARENTAL GUIDANCE is the worst kind of pandering perfectly blended into the worst kind of filmmaking. After such a great run in films like THE WRESTLER, BEFORE THE DEVEIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD, CYRUS, and even CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE, it's especially sad to see Tomei take such a nosedive into this barrel-scraping comedy. I have some vague recollection of a time when Crystal was better than this. I'm not sure he was ever cutting edge, but at least he was good for a bunch of one-liners to keep the mood light. But he looks like an old lesbian here, his face mangled from an untold number of adjustments.

Seriously, if you're even contemplating seeing this movie, slap yourself repeatedly until the thought passes. If you really have the need to see a junky comedy with your grandmother this holiday season, make it THE GUILT TRIP. At least there are a few laughs in that one. Let's face it, if you've made it this far in the review, you're probably a lost cause at this point. Venture into a theater playing this one at your own peril.

-- Steve Prokopy
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Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 28, 2012, 1:08 a.m. CST

    Sounds shitty


    for about a month now.

  • I'm just fucking with ya. Film looks horrible.

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 1:30 a.m. CST

    Marisa Tomei

    by AngelinasOilBoy

    I don't normally post comments to fap over actresses, but unffffjlkjflakj I love that woman! Really talented, sadly under-rated and has aged incredibly well. Meowwww. I'd rather castrate myself with a plastic knife than watch this movie though :/

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 4:45 a.m. CST

    THE GAME PLAN=shit

    by buggerbugger

    SHE'S THE MAN=shit RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN=shit Yes, I watched those movies. And fairly recently. I had no idea the same twatpot was responsible for those movies. No doubt I'll watch some other shitty movie on TV in the years to come and not notice it's by the exact same twatpot. I should make a note. re: "Tomei is something of a modern parent" Does this include the vital skill of wearing tight or skimpy clothing for most of the movie? Modern parents should definitely do that. What the hell, even the dads. Somebody's got to like that stuff.

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 5:15 a.m. CST

    My aunt and her friends are going to see this...

    by adml_shake

    and will absolutely love it. Nothing interesting going on, no action, shitty plot. Right up their ally.

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 5:53 a.m. CST

    i'd smack marisa tomei

    by saintsaucey

    On the ass As she is getting out of bed after having sex With me

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 6:13 a.m. CST

    Yeah, looks awful.

    by Nice Marmot

    But am I the only one that thinks someone with talent & half a brain could make a really good movie with the basic premise? My parents, now grandparents, are a treasure trove of frustrating, laughable WTF....

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 7:53 a.m. CST

    It's a horrible movie? Really?

    by Keith

    The trailers make it look like oscar bait. Kidding. Capone must get paid by the word to write such an in-depth review of a steaming pile.

  • Good line. I laughed. I noticed Crystal's disturbing plastic surgery when he hosted the Oscars this past year. Lay off the face-lifts and hair dye Billy. The trailer for this film looked so horrible. Who thought it was a good idea to make it?

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Billy Crystal gotta EAT

    by Ricardo

  • saying that...crystal hasnt been funny in years i watched the trailer, and was cringing but come on...its got tomei in it rent it and just fast forward to her scenes and fap

  • At least there was no Robin Williams cameo.

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 12:08 p.m. CST

    This film lost me at Billy Crystal

    by A_Banned_Apart

    doing the same schtick that needed to be put to rest when he did Father's Day fifteen years ago.

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 12:19 p.m. CST

    I 2nd the marissa tomei superhotness to this day...

    by Darth Macchio

    In fact, it was quite distracting in 'The Wrestler' when those guys were complaining about her being old when she was a freakin super hottie in that movie. Calling her a milf? Of course, if a bit objectifying...but not dismissing and refusing her outright (i recall her being better looking than most of the other dancers in that movie too - less bleached blond and plastic). tho i kinda hated the character she was given in that goofy love, sex, marriage thing whatever (the movie with steve carell that makes the classic and predictable rom-com bullshit ending 'character has a huge mea culpa revelation in public - usually involving a PA of some type' - seriously, this happens so often in these movies that its practically formula for these writers and directors).

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Fickman has been fucking Christine Lakin 7 years going

    by mjgtexas

    That inspires me.

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Marisa Tomei....

    by Norman Colson

    Oh gawd what i wouldnt give to nut in her ass with no condom, she's still hot to this day. I mean she was hot in a different world when she was young but i saw her in crazy,stupid, love DAMMMNNNNNN. but it's funny. I mean cal's wife basically cheated on him and he gets revenge by sleeping with marisa tomei. I mean julianne moore was hot but Damn he definitely upgraded!

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 5:49 p.m. CST

    billy crystal

    by HoraceSkinner

    Has never been funny Ever His snl characters weren't funny I blame him for basically killing deniros career with those awful analyze movies Fuck harry met sally. He was ok on running scared

  • Dec. 29, 2012, 11:23 a.m. CST

    RIP Gerry Anderson

    by Seph_J

  • Cliche alert!