Parental Guidance

5 Jan

Parental Guidance

Synopsis: “Artie and Diane agree to look after their three grand-kids when their type-A helicopter parents need to leave town for work. Problems arise when the kids’ 21st-century behaviors collide with Artie and Diane’s old-school methods.” (Rated PG; 1 hour 44 minutes)

Aaah, awards season. Excellent movies like the French film Amour are out, Zero Dark Thirty which I’m sure will be one of the best of the year, a new Gus Van Sant film with Matt Damon that re-teams director and actor in a way that will undoubtedly make everyone sad that they’re not watching Good Will Hunting II. So many choices to catch a good movie on a Saturday night with friends, what to see…how about the wacky comedy where you’ll know everything that happens before the screenwriters put their pen to page, and irritating kid actors who you want to punch? That’s what I want to see tonight!

Well, here’s the ironic part that should surprise NOBODY who knows me. I enjoyed it. Yep. A completely unoriginal, predictable, “family comedy”, but it had two things going for it:

1) I was watching it, and I’m a damn easy audience

2) Billy Crystal. The guy could be narrating a movie about detergent and I’d be at least somewhat entertained, if only for nostalgia purposes.

The guy starred in some of everyone’s favorite movies: The Princess Bride (best comedy/fantasy ever?), When Harry Met Sally (best rom-com ever – YES) , City Slickers (best, umm, movie about cowboys who aren’t sleeping with each other ever?)

It’s hard for me to watch him and NOT enjoy his silly, old-school humor on the screen, especially since he rarely acts anymore. Last year when he hosted the Oscars the jokes were as cheesy as ever, but since it was coming from him it was my favorite ceremony in many years.

So, the movie itself? What it looks like, they’ll take over, the kids will be annoying and have problems. The parents will disagree with their parenting, and they’ll each learn from each other. And the kids will be less annoying by the end. Should I have written SPOILER ALERT first? Sorry, try to forget what I just said so the movie itself can be more fresh and exciting when you see it.

As Adi said afterwards, it was a cute movie she’d watch at home on TBS while flipping channels.

By the way, I will say one thing that was annoying the crap out of me during the movie: One of the “issues” of the movie was one of the kids had a stutter, a sad little speech impediment that should make your heart melt, especially as he’s bullied at school. The problem? Unless you’re from outer space and have NEVER met someone or even seen someone on TV who has a real stutter, this was the worst depiction of a stutter of all time, or to put it like the kid did, “Th-this wa-was the wo-worst de-depiction…” yeah, it was literally like that. Naomi and my speech therapist friends are welcome to see the movie and tell me I’m wrong.

I will admit though, it had its amusing or even funny scenes, and Billy Crystal even with mediocre material is fun to watch.

One thing I promised Abe and Farnaz I’d repeat from tonight: Before the movie started I gave my already used water cups to the Century City concessions stand guy to pour some more ice into. He takes it and scoops my used cup into the ice. Umm, NOT okay?!

The movie was better than The Tooth Fairy, another family comedy where Billy Crystal was the ONLY decent part, it was worse than Mr. Saturday Night, a depressing and amusing dramedy where he was in terrible makeup that aged him to where he basically is today.

Quality Rating: C

Boaz Rating: B (Can’t deny I enjoy seeing Billy Crystal in just about anything)


4 Responses to “Parental Guidance”

  1. Yossi Horowitz January 6, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    “The guy starred in some of everyone’s favorite movies” — You forgot Monsters, Inc.!


    • boazconstrictor January 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

      I actually was SO close to using that as a final example of one of my favorite Pixar flicks!


  2. Jeff Z. April 23, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    Just saw this on a plane and really enjoyed it in that setting. Especially as a parent who sometime deals with not too dissimilar issues with my kids’ grandparents! And come on, it’s BC!


    • boazconstrictor April 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

      Ha, that’s funny you can already relate to this Jeff. So was my review too harsh in your opinion, or accurate?


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