Parental Guidance (film)

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Parental Guidance
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAndy Fickman
Written by
  • Lisa Addario
  • Joe Syracuse
Produced by
CinematographyDean Semler
Edited byKent Beyda
Music byMarc Shaiman
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • December 25, 2012 (2012-12-25)
Running time
105 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$25 million[2]
Box office$119.8 million[2]

Parental Guidance is a 2012 American family comedy film directed by Andy Fickman, from a screenplay written by Lisa Addario, and Joe Syracuse. It stars Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, and Tom Everett Scott, and follows a couple who are asked to look after their grandchildren by their skeptical daughter, while she and her husband are out of town.[3][4][5]

This was the final 20th Century Fox film to be financed by Dune Entertainment as part of a deal with the studio; shortly after, the company merged with RatPac Entertainment and struck a financing deal with Warner Bros. It was theatrically released on December 25, 2012, to negative reviews from critics but was a commercial success, grossing $119.8 million from a $25 million budget.


Artie Decker, a sports commentator for the minor league Fresno Grizzlies, is fired due to his old-fashioned personality and lack of social media savvy. After telling his wife Diane the news, they get a phone call from their daughter Alice and son-in-law, Phil, asking them to come to Atlanta to babysit their three children Harper, Turner, and Barker while the couple leaves for an entrepreneur convention in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Problems arise as Artie and Diane's laidback personalities collide with Phil and Alice's helicopter parenting. After learning of the children's various problems, such as Harper's "high achievement syndrome", Turner's stutter, and Barker's imaginary friend Carl the Kangaroo, Artie and Diane try to bond with them.

Alice returns home early when her boss gives her an assignment to redesign the website for the X Games. Artie uses this to his advantage and arranges an interview for the role of sports commentator. In an attempt to win over his grandchildren, he breaks several of the rules Alice has set for them, such as forbidding them from eating sugary foods and watching horror movies. Alice is horrified, but after Diane tells her that she and Artie will never be good grandparents if she doesn't give them the chance to, she leaves to join Phil in Hilton Head.

Artie lets Barker skip a playdate to take him to the skate park where his interview is being held. Barker escapes from his supervision, and Tony Hawk nearly runs him over while skateboarding. The incident is later broadcast on the news. Later that day, Diane berates Artie for letting Turner hit his bully after Artie had tried to teach him a lesson about confidence and standing up for himself. Artie has a discussion with him and shows him the Shot Heard 'Round The World event. Meanwhile, Phil and Alice witness the news broadcast of the skatepark incident and return home to Atlanta. The tension comes to a head when Alice discovers Diane has allowed Harper to attend a party the night before a violin recital and Barker claims Carl has been hit and killed by a car.

Alice eventually reconciles with Artie and Diane, and, sensing that Harper has lost her passion for music, allows her to withdraw from the recital. Turner takes her place on stage and overcomes his stutter by reciting the commentary from Shot Heard 'Round The World. Afterward, Artie and Diane successfully reconnect with their grandchildren, and Artie takes up a new job as a commentator for an Atlanta Little League Baseball team.



The film was released Christmas Day 2012, in the United States and Canada and on Boxing Day 2012, in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. Its international release spans from December 19, 2012, to July 11, 2013, with the first 2013 release on January 3, 2013, in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Singapore.[6]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 26, 2013, from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.[7]


Despite generally negative reviews, box office totals for the film were higher than expected.[2][8]

Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 17% based on 92 reviews with an average rating of 3.84/10. The website's critical consensus states: "Parental Guidance is sweet but milquetoast, an inoffensive trifle that's blandly predictable."[9] Metacritic gives it a weighted average score of 36 out of 100, based on reviews from 20 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[10] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave it an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[11]


Award Category Recipient(s) Result
2013 Young Artist Awards[12] Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actor Ten and Under Kyle Harrison Breitkopf Nominated
Joshua Rush Nominated
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Ensemble Cast Kyle Harrison Breitkopf, Bailee Madison, Joshua Rush Nominated


  1. ^ "PARENTAL GUIDANCE (U)". British Board of Film Classification. November 30, 2012. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Parental Guidance (2012)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  3. ^ "2012 Movies Preview: 'Hunger Games' 'The Dark Knight Rises' 'Avengers' & More". Huffington Post. January 10, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  4. ^ "Fox Moves Billy Crystal's 'Parental Guidance' To Christmas Day". Deadline Hollywood (PMC). April 11, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  5. ^ "Fox Moves Billy Crystal Comedy Parental Guidance Release Date To Christmas". April 10, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  6. ^ "Via Press: Parental Guidance - Release Dates". Archived from the original on October 14, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  7. ^ Amazon: Parental Guidance
  8. ^ LA Times: Movie box-office totals for 2012 projected to set record Retrieved January 2, 2013
  9. ^ "Parental Guidance (2012)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  10. ^ "Parental Guidance Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  11. ^ "Find CinemaScore" (Type "Parental Guidance" in the search box). CinemaScore. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  12. ^ "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". Retrieved March 31, 2013.

External links[edit]