Review of Parental Guidance on Blu-Ray and DVD7:46 PM
We have been taking a break from watching new films with the kids, mostly because there have been so few that we both would enjoy. Most "kid" films are childish, with loads of crude humor, and little to be enjoyed by adults. Many of the films aimed at adults are not anything I'd want the kiddos to see.
Parental Guidance, a film that was released late March, breaks the norms and completely surprised my family. I screened it first with my husband and 14-year-old, because it was rated PG (and for a live action film, that could mean a number of issues.) It was harmless, however, and the few gags that would have earned it the PG rating were nothing we haven't experienced as a rough-and-tumble family of 1 athletic teen girl and 4 always-into-things boys. (A scene with a baseball bat to the groin by an unruly child and the subsequent vomiting weren't out of place, and they actually lent some "consequence" to the storyline.)
In this look at today's struggles for parents and grandparents to see eye to eye, when distance and parenting styles can be so extreme, it was nice to see that - despite their odds - both the couples in this film were trying, really TRYING to do right by the kids. There was no acceptance of parental selfishness like you see in so many of today's films about bumbling parents. Dating and career don't come first, and when kids struggle, parents are there to relate and pick up the pieces.
There are some delightful moments when Billy Crystal and Bette Midler do their thing (singing, dancing), and, of course, their wise-cracking mouths add to the characters. I only hope that I'm that amazingly fresh when I'm that age.
In the end, there is something to be learned from both the parents and grandparents. Kids are put first, and all is right with the world -- for now. The film emphasizes that differences can be put aside if love of a family is the center of priorities. And above all, when those you love make mistakes (no matter how large), it can pay off to forgive, move on, and create better (less painful) memories.
This film, which had me a little teary eyed, is now available where DVD's are sold. You can check it out at Amazon on both Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital formats.
*Screener received to review. Opinions are 100% my own.