Parental Guidance

January 4, 2013 - Billy Crystal and Bette Midler play grandparents who prove they still have a thing or two to teach the younger generation in this film from director Andy Fickman. Marisa Tomei and Tom Everett Scott co-star. Crystal's daughter, Jennifer Crystal Foley, has a small role.

Crystal and Midler play Artie and Diane Decker. Artie lives for his job as the radio voice of a minor league baseball team in California. As the film opens, it's the last game of the season – and Artie's last game with the team. He gets fired because the team wants to go in a "new direction" that involves Twitter, Facebook and other things that Artie knows nothing about.

Tomei is their daughter, Alice. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Phil (Scott), and three kids. When Phil is nominated for an award for his house-controlling, life-controlling computer program, he wants Alice to be at the ceremony with him. Phil's parents are not available to watch the kids, so Artie and Diane are called on as a last resort. The rest of the film is comprised of Artie and Diane (but mostly Artie), bumbling around but still managing to teach their grandkids, and even their own daughter, some valuable life lessons.

Overall review: ** This is not a bad film, but it's not that good, either. I don't know how to explain it other than that it seemed to be lacking "life." In other words, for a film starring Billy Crystal and Bette Midler, it was surprisingly dull. Only the kids seemed to show any emotion. Bailee Madison was particularly effective as Alice and Phil's "tween" daughter.