Parental Guidance: “For anyone wanting an escapist, family movie, Parental Guidance is just the ticket”

Birmingham Mail
Film Review: Parental Guidance (U)
4 Jan 2013 11:18

Such is Hollywood’s aversion to anyone growing old, films with leading grandparent roles are few and far between.

But those that are made don’t have to feature stars as far into twilight as Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn were in On Golden Pond (1980).

After all, we’re all supposed to be getting younger and it’s never been exceptional for people around 60 to become grandparents.

Parental Guidance is a variation on Home Alone, with grandparents Artie Decker (Billy Crystal, 64) and Diane (a still livewire Bette Midler, 67) arriving to look after her daughter’s three children while the parents go away.

One of the neat twists here is that mum Alice Simmons (Marisa Tomei) and husband Phil (Tom Everett Scott) run a hi-tech household.

So, getting used to the way things work and the fact that gadgets might even speak to you, is going to be a challenge for the Deckers.

There’s also a good, modern subtext too, about how you should bring up and, indeed, teach, young children today.

I don’t know if it’s reassuring or scary that in such an American film the kids seems to be UK-style victims of both health and safety rules and political correctness at the same time.

For the Deckers, there’s also the problem of whether to even go.

Which set of grandparents are the children’s favourites?

Funnier than Little Fockers (2010), there’s no reason why Parental Guidance can’t go on to have its own sequel, with the other set of grandparents coming into the equation.

For anyone wanting an escapist, family movie, Parental Guidance is just the ticket.

The U certificate also means that grandparents can safely take their own second generation little ones on a trip to the cinema.

We don’t see that often enough and that is partly because there aren’t the films to encourage this pattern.

Parental Guidance is the perfect excuse. If you’ve got grandchildren – give them an end-of-holiday treat.

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January 4, 2013 11:34 am

OMG, first mention I heard of a SEQUEL! That would be amazing!!