Parental Guidance is a cute little movie about generational differences and parenting styles. The movie encompasses three generations which include the modern techie parents, the out-of-date grandparents, and three hyper bratty kids.
The movie stars Billy Crystal and Bette Midler as the grandparents and Marisa Tomei and Tom Everett Scott as the tech savvy parents. Some of the jokes are predictable when you throw social media and computer terms at dinosaurs but it still evokes a chuckle or two. (Unless you are a dinosaur yourself and don’t understand the new age technical terms.) The movie also has some typical slapstick moments but that isn’t all bad.
If you are not familiar with the computer lingo you will at least recognize the discrepancies in parenting styles. The grandparents are from the old school of believing kids must face defeat and hardships in order to toughen them up for life’s experiences. The grandparents also believe in discipline coupled with time for play for the kids. Above all, the grandparents believe a generous dose of love should accompany all activities.
The parents are the typical helicopter parents who constantly hover over their kids and protect them from any negativity. They don’t believe in saying “no” or raising their voices at their kids. Their baseball team allows a kid to continually swing at a ball until he gets on base—no three strikes and you’re out rule.
If you are a grandparent or “of a certain age” you will probably recognize someone you know in the characters. You might even recognize yourself.
Parental Guidance has received mixed to poor reviews from the critics but in spite of that it has done well at the box office. My personal opinion is that most of the reviewers have been young 20 to 30 somethings and have missed the point all together.
You won’t find Parental Guidance at any awards shows. You won’t hear any profanity, loud car crashes, or guns blazing. You won’t see any nudity, sex scenes, blood and gore. But, if you want an enjoyable night out go see Parental Guidance. It might restore your faith in “the family of man”.
I give Parental Guidance a C.