Parental Guidance was probably a sweet movie at one point, probably very early in the process. Before long, the studio (Fox) likely got the script and wondered how it would ever make a profit.
“Great movie,” says our studio head. “It's just missing a few things. Any chance you could add a throw-up scene, some kid urinating at a skate park, and a baseball bat to Billy Crystal’s crotch?”
Sure enough, Parental Guidance has all of those gems and more. And apparently people loved it. Made for approximately $25 million, Parental Guidance has already grossed over $83 million worldwide. It comes out on Blu-ray and DVD on March 26.
It’s fun to see Fresno featured prominently with a lengthy scene at Chukchansi Park early on, but things quickly go downhill when the movie takes shape in Atlanta. There are scenes that certainly ring true – several grandparents in our theater clearly loved the movie – and it’s clear director Andy Fickman’s heart was in the right place.
That said, the movie may end up annoying parents more than entertaining them, especially when the youngest child is on the screen. Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei are working too hard to make the movie work, and that’s never good.
With so few family comedies available, however, Parental Guidance will make for a decent rental. You just wish Fox would let us see what the movie looked like before all the studio honchos got hold of it.