Parental Guidance (film)

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Parental Guidance
Parental Guidance film poster.jpg
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. The film 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]

Parental Guidance 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 is a sports commentator for the minor league Fresno Grizzlies, but is one day fired due to his old-fashioned personality and lack of social media savvy. After telling his wife Diane the news, they eventually get a phone call from their daughter, Alice, and son-in-law, Phil, asking them to babysit the children while they leave for an entrepreneur convention in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Problems arise as Artie and Diane’s parenting skills collide with Alice and Phil'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 make them their new best friends. Later that night, everyone goes to the fictional Chinese restaurant, Healthy Tiger for dinner. Artie shows Barker the proper way to eat Chinese food, which is to mix everything together, but all that does is anger Barker and makes him hate Artie, going so far as to call him "Evil Fartie", and then it ends up resulting in chaos for the entire family. The next morning, Alice and Phil leave for their trip.

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, as he arranges an interview for the role of sports commentator. He even takes Turner to speech class, where he accidentally ends up upsetting Turner. To try and make him feel better, Artie and Turner watch the movie Saw, which Alice and Phil did not allow Turner to watch because he was too young. Artie also gives Turner and Barker cake, which Alice disapproves of because she doesn’t let her children eat sugary food. Diane and Alice take Harper to the mall to buy her a dress for her upcoming violin recital. Harper practices her violin at a music studio, where her teacher forces her to practice more. Artie gets hit in his crotch at Turner's baseball practice by Ivan, Turner's bully, because he didn't find the rules to be fair because they're trying to let all the kids win and removing the three strikes and you're out rule, while most of the parents in the crowd agree on his opinion, and that since he already had three strikes, he was already out, which causes the bully to get angry with him. Afterwards, Diane tells Alice that they'll never be good grandparents if she doesn't give them a chance to do so. Alice leaves to join Phil in Hilton Head.

Diane and Artie take the children to the symphony, but Artie and Barker have to catch up because Artie has to go to the bathroom for a poo, and Artie has to sing an embarrassing song to help Barker poop, which the other guys in the bathroom enjoy listening to. They make it to the symphony, but Barker runs around the place because he says that he and Carl found it boring. Artie has to catch up to him, and nearly spanks him in the behind in front of a public audience, who all gasp in shock. At home, Diane scolds him for what he did. Later, Artie lets Barker skip school to take him to a skate park where his job interview is being held. Artie manages to place Barker's life in danger when Barker nearly gets hurt by a skateboard ridden by Tony Hawk after urinating on the halfpipe, causing him to slip and get hurt, which later is shown on the news. Later that day, Diane berates Artie for letting Turner hit Ivan (a bully at his school), when Artie was trying to teach him a lesson about self-confidence and standing up to bullies. Artie has a discussion with Turner and shows him the Shot Heard 'Round The World event. Meanwhile in Hilton Head, Alice and Phil eat at a bar while watching news footage of Barker and Artie's incident on TV, before returning to Atlanta. Later in the evening, everyone plays kick the can until Diane gets a bloody nose. Barker says that they must go out and play again because of Carl. Barker says that Carl has been hit by a car. Eventually, the tension comes to a head as Alice disagrees with Diane's letting Harper attend a party the night before a violin recital. The family holds a funeral for Carl.

Alice eventually reconciles with Artie and Diane, and she allows Harper to withdraw from the recital. Turner later takes Harper’s place on stage and overcomes his stutter by reciting the commentary from the Shot Heard 'Round The World. Afterwards, 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 alongside Turner.



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
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actor Ten and Under 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). Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  5. ^ "Fox Moves Billy Crystal Comedy Parental Guidance Release Date To Christmas". 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]