PARENTAL GUIDANCE: A Film produced and starring Billy Crystal. Also starring: Bette Midler.
I adore Billy Crystal and have seen every film he has been in and I also did standing room of his one man show on Broadway. He is a gifted actor, talented Oscar host, brilliant stand up performer and a charming actor. In the new film it is a film where old school goes against new school.
Billy Crystal plays a baseball announcer who gets fired because he does not use social media, nor really know or care about twitter,facebook, pokes, likes and more. He is an old time announcer funny, charming and his character can be a bit crude. He is fired because they want a new generation announcer that has millions of likes, and a following. He and his wife have grandchildren they rarely see so when Marisa Tomei, their daughter asks them to babysit they do and all crazyness ensues.
The film is very wacky and bizarre at times but the strongest parts of the film are when Billy’s character bonds with his grandchild that has a lisp. They bond over baseball and because of that bond grandpa changes his grandson’s life. It was the best part of the film and even made me cry. This is a major coo as it takes a lot to make me cry in a film. There are many touching moments and there are some moments that seem so bizarre it’s as if the film was written by several different people and the stories put together. Some parts are wonderful like the bond between Billy and his stuttering grandson. Other scenes that did not work involve another grandchild who was not allowed to go to the bathroom so he urinated on a skateboard tournament course. ( What? This is funny?)
If you love Billy Crystal and the amazing Midler you will also get a shining moment when they sing. You will also get to hear music by one of my favorite Broadway Composers Marc Shaiman.
The film is cute, touching and light holiday fare. It is not movie of the year but it is a sweet and charming film. Speaking of old school, I could have done with less Dennis The Menace meets the Grandparents and more about that relationship with the Grandparents.
Warning: The film is not for small children as there are a few crude moments and people who do not like potty humor might not appreciate parts of this film.
4 out of 5 stars.
Corine Dana Cohen