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Watch: Trailer For 'Parental Guidance' Starring Billy Crystal & Bette Midler, Because It's Apparently 1991 Again

by Drew Taylor
September 8, 2012 11:30 AM
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It's going to be a tough decision for moviegoers who want to escape the family togetherness of Christmas Day for a few hours. They could either escape into the dusty, blood-splattered old west of Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" or they could face something even more horrifying: a Bette Midler/Billy Crystal comedy called "Parental Guidance." Based on the just-premiered trailer (courtesy of Yahoo), this could be absolute torture.

Directed by Andy Fickman, who has had a bafflingly steady career directing utter garbage like "You Again," "Race to Witch Mountain," "The Game Plan," and "She's the Man" (which has become a tween-age cult classic – yes, seriously), "Parental Guidance" concerns two kooky grandparents (Midler and Crystal) who agree to babysit for their daughter (Marisa Tomei, clearly slumming it). Of course, their antiquated notions of parenting and discipline get in the way of the more enlightened style of their daughter. What follows will undoubtedly be lots of sequences of chaos (like Crystal getting hit in the balls with a baseball bat – can't go wrong with a classic) and, by the end, heartwarming scenes where the two generations of parents come to a deeper mutual understanding.

We're hard-pressed to pick out a single moment in the 2 minute + trailer we can identify as "funny," although Crystal's wry line delivery still does get us from time to time. This really does seem like a movie that traveled through some magical portal from the early nineties. Good grief.

"Parental Guidance" appears as the coal in your stocking on Christmas Day.

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  • KERRY | September 13, 2012 6:15 PMReply

    The problem with comedies these days, is that studios go for cheap raunchy laughs with no heart. I can't even remember a studio comedy in the last several years that had heart, laughs, and a family message. Must every movie have vampires these days? I'm so sick of snarky, negative bloggers who are probably failed screenwriters, that think it's fun to cut others down. Billy and Bette are comedic legends, and I think it us a real treat for audiences to see them work together for the first time. Have some respect!

  • Iwolf | September 11, 2012 11:25 PMReply

    There are plenty of people old and young who would still love to see these actors in a film, so keep your unwanted opinions to yourself

  • Fred | September 11, 2012 1:54 PMReply

    Another agree for BMAN. Don't you all know that many who write for blogs live to label things "dated" because they feature an older version of the iphone? Does twenty years really equate to covered wagon days in our hip, modern lives? Should everyone who was making movies twenty years ago be set out on an ice floe, or is mandatory retirement sufficient? And in twenty years, will these bloggers' kids or grandkids be sitting around saying "Gosling, Chastain, Fassbender, I thought they were dead...meh, eww, lol" (or whatever netspeak will have evolved to by then)?

  • Bman | September 9, 2012 4:03 PMReply

    It doesn't look nearly as painful as a "Jack and Jill." It will probably do well with the older mature crowd (your parents, grandparents, etc). And it's a simple story giving a chance to some familiar and established actors we haven't seen in a while (check out "Ruthless People" and you'll know why I was happy to see Bette again). Don't forget, our culture's been so obsessed with "Twilight" and youth, we've painted ourselves into a 14 year-old's corner. Look at That's how the page looked during the televised conventions. The whole idea of time-traveling back to the 90s...Can you think of any movie in the last 10 years that didn't just try to hit you over the head with cynicism or violence? But that's the new generation I suppose. If you don't like it, don't see it. No need to shit all over it for everyone else looking for something safe (FOR THE HOLIDAYS!!!). Or go write and direct something you feel is better. This article is unnecessarily snarky, which in itself made it trite and predictable.

  • SimonT | September 10, 2012 7:38 PM

    Very well said BMAN! And wow Drew Taylor, what did Bette Midler and Billy Crystal ever do to you? Me, and probably a lot of other people, am kind of excited to see those two together in a movie. So they were big back in the 80's, 90's. So what? How can you judge a whole movie based on a 2 min trailer ... which isn't even as half bad as you described it!

  • Shaun | September 10, 2012 9:25 AM

    Well said BMAN! I don't think this movie looked half as bad as this article implied. I am looking forward to it.

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