Parental Guidance

  • U
  • Andy Fickman (2012)
  • US
  • 100 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
2 out of 5

Billy Crystal and Bette Midler play a couple of kooky old-timers who are asked to babysit their mollycoddled grandchildren in a comedy that celebrates the way parenting used to be. That means the kids are often left to their own devices, providing the perfect opportunity for some old-fashioned slapstick, including a cream-cake food fight and a public peeing incident that leaves skateboarding legend Tony Hawk injured. Younger viewers might be entertained, but there's little to amuse grown-ups. Crystal and Midler make a charming double-act, with wisecracks aplenty, but they're reined in for a family audience. The story is as much about the strained relationship with their daughter (a frazzled Marisa Tomei) as their grandchildren, but the expectation of a fresh, comedic perspective on modern parenting is never delivered by director Andy Fickman. Inevitably, lessons are learned by all, but frankly it all feels a bit obvious, perfunctory and dated.

Plot Summary

Comedy starring Billy Crystal and Bette Midler. Diane and her husband Artie agree to look after their three grandchildren when the brood's controlling parents are out of town on business. When Artie applies a more hands-off approach to childcare, it inevitably leads to chaos.

Cast and crew


Artie Decker
Billy Crystal
Diane Decker
Bette Midler
Alice Decker Simmons
Marisa Tomei
Phil Simmons
Tom Everett Scott
Harper Decker Simmons
Bailee Madison
Turner Decker Simmons
Joshua Rush
Barker Decker Simmons
Kyle Harrison Breitkopf
Mr Cheng
Gedde Watanabe


Andy Fickman

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
20th Century Fox
Some swearing.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 21 Dec 2012
Certificate U
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment