It’s like a national law that Hollywood must churn out at least one stupid comedy every holiday season about families who are at odds with each other in oh-so-hilarious ways. It appears as though this season’s attempt to fill the quota will be handled by Parental Guidance.
Billy Crystal and Bette Midler star as grandparents taking care of their grandchildren when the parents are forced to head out of town. Hilarity ensues as a clash of generations occurs between the old Crystal and the young kids and modern parents.
The whole package is painful to watch, featuring Crystal coasting on the same tired schtick he has for years. To be fair, he has added at least one new wrinkle – crotch humor – which is sure to make the “I’ve always wanted to see Billy Crystal get nailed repeatedly in the junk” demographic happy. Who knows? Maybe that’s the target audience for this thing.
Parental Guidance hits theaters on Christmas. It’s a free country and you’re allowed to spend the holiday however you choose, but if you’re thinking “Hey, it’d be really great to take the family out to see the latest Billy Crystal comedy on Christmas Day – that’s the kind of memory that lasts for a lifetime!” we’d suggest maybe rethinking that before the big day gets here. Christmas only comes once a year – do you really want the lingering memory of this film hanging over future Christmases like one of Scrooge's ghosts?