Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
10:30 PM Beirut time
22 °C
Blom Index
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
‘Parental Guidance’ tolerable and touching if uninspired
Associated Press
Artie holds on to his grandson Barker, who doesn’t like the idea of mom and dad leaving for a vacation.
Artie holds on to his grandson Barker, who doesn’t like the idea of mom and dad leaving for a vacation.
A+ A-

LOS ANGELES: The schmaltz is piled on thick, and if the comedy were any broader it would require an Imax screen, but still there’s something touching about how hard Billy Crystal and Bette Midler hustle to peddle the threadbare material that makes “Parental Guidance” a tolerable, if uninspired, movie-going experience.

As “the other grandparents” who are given a rare opportunity to bond with their grandchildren, Billy and Bette seem well aware they have to entertain the paying audience as much as the juvenile characters.

Artie Decker (Crystal) has just lost his longtime gig as “De Voice of the Fresno Grizzlies” when the minor-league baseball team decide to upgrade the outfit with the sort of talent that knows its way around a Facebook page or a Twitter account.

Despondent Artie’s not excited at the news that he and his wife Diane (Midler) have been recruited to babysit the three kids of their daughter Alice (Marisa Tomei).

There are predictable gags built around technologically challenged Artie. Fortunately, Crystal’s arsenal of rim-shot-ready rejoinders hit the mark more than they miss. While his character has been given more of an emotional arc than Midler’s, it’s still nice to see Midler strutting her stuff in her first onscreen comedy role in years.

Tomei is always a welcome presence, even when she’s saddled with what’s essentially a one-note character for most of the film.

Director Andy Fickman and screenwriters Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse could have mined some fresher stuff from this frequently played ballgame.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 03, 2013, on page 16.
Home Film
United States of America

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus

Baabda 2014
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Wednesday, April 23, 2014
View all view all
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Click to View Articles
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS