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Download Parental Guidance Movie.The Good: Moments of humor, Moments of character The Bad: No superlative performances, Predictable plot, Lame, interchangeable jokes, One-note characters The Basics: Billy Crystal and Bette Midler lead a decent cast performing badly in the Christmas family comedy Parental Guidance.
Every now and then, I figure the studios give up on a project. Won’t Back Down (reviewed here!) was given such a push of advanced screenings that it is a wonder that there was anyone left who might have wanted to see the film who ended up having to pay for it. In a similar fashion, I suspect the distributors of the Christmas-release family comedy Parental Guidance have decided it is not going to be able to compete with Les Miserables and they aren’t even going to try. Having gone to a screening of the Parental Guidance, I can now say that Twentieth Century Fox, seems to have made the right decision and bailed on the family comedy early.

Download Parental Guidance

Download Parental Guidance

Download Parental Guidance

Download Parental Guidance

 

 

Download Parental Guidance Movie.Parental Guidance is a family comedy that is plagued by being too obvious, too safe, and overly generic. So many of the jokes could have been interchanged into other movies for virtually any other situation – in order to get up to the 104 minute running time, Parental Guidance is diluted with generic travel jokes and humor that is based on differences between the generations. The film is utterly predictable and it is another unfortunate example of a film where all of the best jokes are in the trailer, making for another dismal experience where the movie is stretched out around one or two decent (I counted five smileworthy) jokes.

Download Parental Guidance Movie.Alice and Phil have to leave town and they cannot take their children with them. In desperation, Alice calls her parents, Artie and Diane, to ask if they will come and spend the week watching the kids. After much kvetching about how uncomfortable Artie is about the Alice’s parenting and his feelings of awkwardness around his grandchildren: Harper, Turner, and Darker, Diane and Artie go to Alice’s home, mostly based on Diane’s desire to have a closer relationship with the grandchildren. Once there, the family has an awkward dinner out, wherein Alice lays out the rules she wants Diane and Artie to help enforce.

Download Parental Guidance Movie.When their children leave, Diane and Artie make little effort to live up to Alice’s wishes. Diane tries to be the cool grandmother, bonding especially with Harper. As difficult as it is for Artie, he begins to relate to the boys and he starts taking some joy in being a grandparent for the first time in his life.

Download Parental Guidance Movie.Parental Guidance is 100% predictable and the deluge of travel jokes are anything but audacious and feel like filler as the movie slowly progresses through Artie’s complaining. The character arcs for Diane, Artie, and Alice are entirely predictable, given the way the characters are initially established. Alice is so down on how Artie and Diane raised her and she has such rigid views on how her children should be raised – she wants her kids to have more experiences, as opposed to having firm limits placed on them, yet has strict dietary restrictions for them and a few other absolute positions that prevent her parenting style from being defined as “experience-based.”

Download Parental Guidance Movie.Similarly, Billy Crystal’s Artie seems to be a very obvious, generic grumpy old man at the outset of the film. Artie clearly loves his wife, but he is not keen on how Alice turned out and he has little initial interest in actually spending time with Alice’s children. Conversely, Diane is characterized as a woman who truly feels a void in her life for not being closer to her daughter and grandchildren. So, there is really very little direction the characters could go in other than Artie loosening up and Diane getting her wish (whatwith Hollywood’s adamant refusal to promote the idea that children do not solve every relationship problem and that grandparents are not universally cool or wealthy enough to spoil their grandchildren). Given that most of the flick focuses on the adults’ relationship(s), their arcs are entirely obvious.In a similar fashion, Alice is suddenly forced to rely upon her parents in a way that she is not initially comfortable with. Given that Parental Guidance is a family comedy that falls firmly into the camp of That Kind Of Movie, there is nothing surprising in the way that Alice slowly grows to appreciate her parents and their parenting style more. Parental Guidance is one of those movies that is not about to challenge those expectations and it doesn’t.

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