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Parental Guidance Review

Movies.com Critics

0.5

Dave White Profile

Grandpa knows best. Even when he clearly doesn't. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0
    36

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Scott Bowles

    The movie spends too much time wedging the couple into a May-December moment, where Crystal cracks nostalgic about the good old days. It's sweet, but it grows old.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    In the occasionally funny but mostly facile '80s-style culture-clash comedy Parental Guidance, Billy Crystal, who now resembles a very cute puffer fish, plays Artie Decker.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    The pathos: considerable. The sight gags, involving Crystal puking chili dog on a kid's face, or the grandson with an imaginary friend peeing and causing an X Games skateboarder to wipe out: artless. The results: tolerably amusing.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    Billy Crystal and Bette Midler hustle to peddle the threadbare material that makes Andy Fickman's comedy a perfectly tolerable, if uninspired, moviegoing experience.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Parental Guidance reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 9+

Predictable family comedy isn't deserving of its stars.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Parental Guidance is a mostly kid-friendly family comedy about the tension between grandparents' old-style parenting and their daughter and son-in-law's Type-A helicopter parenting. There's some rude and scatological humor -- e.g. "poopy head," "fartie Artie," a grandfather being hit in the testicles with a baseball bat, and a man vomiting on a child. A grandfather's suggestion to stick up for yourself leads to his grandson punching his bully and then getting hit in the eye in response. Several brands are mentioned, particularly ESPN, but the product placements aren't generally overwhelming. There's a little drinking by adults, some mild suggestiveness (including references to a couple's romantic role playing), and some kissing.

  • Families can talk about how the movie portrays different parenting styles. Is it funny to see how the two generations differ? Is it just a generational "thing"? If not, what accounts for the differences? Is one style "right" and the other "wrong"?
  • Can you think of other movies that feature comical relationships between grandparents, adult children, and kids? How does this one compare to those?
  • Who do you think the movie is intended to appeal to most? Why? Does it succeed?

The good stuff
  • message true4

    Messages: The movie's main message is the importance of staying close to your parents, especially when you're an adult with children of your own. The importance and benefits of inter-generational families are stressed.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Diane is trying to be a more attentive mother and grandmother, and she does her best to reconcile with her estranged adult child and get to know her grandkids.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: A grandfather is struck in the testicles with a baseball bat and then vomits on a kid. A boy hits his bully in the eye and is then struck in response. A famous skateboarder falls on the halfpipe after a boy pees on it.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Mild suggestiveness and a couple of slow dances and kisses between Alice and Phil. There's a running joke that a married couple occasionally role plays being an English punk lover and his girlfriend. Artie and Diane hug.

  • language false1

    Language: Insults like "stupid," "poopyhead," "fartie," and other silly names. A fair bit of scatological humor, such as a boy peeing on a halfpipe and an adult getting hit in the testicles and then vomiting on a boy.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: ESPN, the X Games, Tony Hawk, Apple products (including MacBooks and iPods), and the San Francisco Giants are all featured in the movie.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink on vacation.

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