One thing is certain. The world needs more Billy Crystal. The man has a certain charm and comedic sensibility that can transform an ordinary family comedy into one that any person or parent could enjoy.
Personally, I wasn't really looking forward to seeing Parental Guidance. Over time I've grown tired of these types of family "dramedies". I guess it was around the time that the third Meet the Parents movie got released that I threw up my arms and said enough is enough. But, Parental Guidance is a while league above those franchise comedies and offers up a strong message of family and forgiveness.
If not for the perfect matching of Crystal and Midler, this film may have struggled to maintain my interest. But, the comic matching of these two along with Marisa Tomei and an often missed Tom Everett Scott actually make a nice combination for this kind of light hearted feel good movie. Okay, the story is not anything ground breaking or highly original but it's just enough to make this a story that parents can share with their kids. That is where the achievement lies. Instead of relying on potty humor, Parental Guidance takes the high road with a straight laced morally succinct story.
If you're a parent or grandparent, you might have something to learn from Parental Guidance. And if you don't, just enjoy it for Crystal's never ending commitment to delivering straight laced wit and charm. This is a movie that you don't have to worry about explaining anything objectionable to the kids. So take the time this weekend, get some popcorn and watch a movie that will make you laugh and remember what family comedies used to be about.