Parental Guidance (2012)



Critic Consensus: Parental Guidance is sweet but milquetoast, an inoffensive trifle that's blandly predictable.

Movie Info

Old school grandfather Artie (Billy Crystal), who is accustomed to calling the shots, meets his match when he and his eager-to-please wife Diane (Bette Midler) agree to babysit their three grandkids when their type-A helicopter parents (Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott) go away for work. But when 21st century problems collide with Artie and Diane's old school methods of tough rules, lots of love and old-fashioned games, it's learning to bend - and not holding your ground - that binds a family … More

Rating: PG (for some rude humor)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Lisa Addario, Joe Syracuse
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 26, 2013
Box Office: $77.3M
20th Century Fox - Official Site


as Diane Decker

as Artie Decker
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Critic Reviews for Parental Guidance

All Critics (85) | Top Critics (24)

This grating family comedy resembles a sitcom in its flat lighting, patronizing music cues, and frames supplying little visual information apart from the actors' mugging faces.

Full Review… | January 3, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

One of those intergenerational embarrassment comedies in the Meet the Fockers line, where children can enjoy seeing grown-ups looking ridiculous.

Full Review… | December 28, 2012
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

An extended "in my day" joke intended to convey the superiority of old people over a lot of supposedly contemporary behavior that doesn't actually exist in real life.

Full Review… | December 27, 2012
Village Voice
Top Critic

The kids are mostly a drag and the schmaltz is poured on as thick as maple syrup, but if those by-the-numbers Disney '60s comedies with Suzanne Pleshette and Dean Jones...are your thing, Parental Guidance will warm you up over the holidays

Full Review… | June 27, 2014
Windy City Times

A joyless and crude comedy that celebrates bathroom humor.

Full Review… | June 30, 2013
Big Hollywood

The film's gags are predictable and fairly lame, but the stars' diehard fans will enjoy Crystal's snarky one-liners and, yes, Midler's singing.

Full Review… | June 16, 2013
Movie Talk

Audience Reviews for Parental Guidance

There's some to love, and a lot to dislike about this Billy Crystal-Bette Midler paired comedy. In the positive category we have our two leads, who are comedy legends and all around funny people. The characters deal with really intense problems that stem from a wide variety of issues, and not all of them have easy solutions. That's not a regular staple of modern comedy films, which are happy to create a tidy ending for its schmucks. What many people take issue with is this unrealistic, privileged view of middle class Americans that paints children as spoiled misanthropes, and adults as their enablers. Artie's voice doesn't seem like Crystal's, because everyone knows that the future means embracing technology, and all its benefits. In this reality older people know best and younger people don't know anything. If its depiction of people wasn't so skewed, perhaps the few laughs it actually generated would be better appreciated.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

Wasn't quite the suck-fest I pictured, but believe me, my expectations were way down for this one.
Found this quite watchable (once, anyhow, wouldn't watch it again). Decent cast lift it a bit too.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


Decent, funny comedy, but nothing really special. Billy Crystal was very funny. The philosophy of old school vs, new school parenting had some good laughs, etc. But, it was just really average over all. Pleasant, but not memorable.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Parental Guidance Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (10 months ago)
– Submitted by imani p (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Rebecca C (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Hannah F (2 years ago)

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