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If you've enjoyed reading about my experiences in Tanzania here, check out the new blog I've started on Wordpress as of November, 2017. It's called "Back to Tanzania" and you can read it here. All new adventures in Tanzania from an older, wiser, more experienced expat.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Parental Fingers Crossed for "Parental Guidance"

My wonderful friend Sue, who frequently entertains me here in Tucson with everything from hiking to flamenco dancing, is the proud mother and mother-in-law of the couple who wrote the movie "Parental Guidance," which opened Christmas Day. She's had her fingers crossed for a couple of months, hoping for a big opening. She's been nagging me to be sure to see it. I just saw it this afternoon, and I loved it! And I'm not saying that just because Sue is my friend!

I haven't done movie reviews here before (although I've reviewed books several times: here and here and here and here). But my fellow blogger Ann Currie, over at "My Life a Bit South of Normal" recently reviewed several movies. It seemed like maybe she had a rare week with some days off from all the goings on and traveling she usually writes about, so she went to the movies. Click on the following links to read her thoughts on the recent movies "Hitchcock", "Flight", "Anna Karenina", and "7 Psychopaths". And bonus, because I'm so slow on the draw, these are probably all at the discount theater now, so you can get a bargain.

But, as Ann often says, I digress. I want to throw in a movie review, too. So here are my thoughts on "Parental Guidance."

The movie is very funny. I was predisposed to think it's funny because I really like Billy Crystal and I love Bette Midler. And they're in fine form here. The movie is very sweet. We have Billy and Bette as the grandparents from the opposite coast who haven't spent much time with their three grandchildren. We have Marisa Tomei as the adult daughter who feels some emotional strain with her dad and who parents in the totally modern over-achieving, high self-esteem, no-competition style. We have the three children, all funny and appealing. The youngest, the problem child with bright red hair, is especially funny. And we have the expected feel-good happy ending. Which really did make me feel good!

I saw it at a mall in Tucson on a Friday afternoon. The theater was quite full, with lots of children in the audience. Everybody laughed all the way through the movie. The kids laughed, too, and seemed to really like the jokes and any misbehavior by the red-headed youngest grandchild and by Billy Crystal. Towards the end of the movie, when we got to the scenes where each plot line had a happy ending, the whole audience said, "Awww" multiple times. And at the end, the audience stayed seated through most of the credits, and laughed and said, "Oh, how cute" about the family pictures included with the credits. It was as if we all didn't want to get up and rush out, because we'd enjoyed the movie so much and wanted to extend the feel good-ness of it for a few more minutes.

Don't be mad at me for revealing that there's a happy ending. It was predictable, and you would have known a happy ending was coming right from the start even if I didn't tell you!

So, if you want to prolong the happy glow of a pleasant visit with your family at Christmas, take them all with you and go see this movie.  Or, conversely, if you're feeling stressed by a dysfunctional visit with your family at Christmas, take them all with you and go see this movie and laugh at the generational and in-law jokes and de-stress yourselves.


  1. Sounds cute - it's not showing in the Korean theaters yet, though; may have to wait to catch it on Netflix. I don't go to many of these 'happy-ending' movies, but I enjoy them occasionally. Thanks for the review - I'll put it on my list!

  2. Haven't seen it yet, but it is on my list. Now I don't have to review it! And, you have personal ties!!!!

  3. And, I have linked your review to my Blog

  4. It sounds great! I don't usually go to movie theatres, but I will recommend it to others!
    P.S. Tomorrow your blog gets a little mention on mine ;).

    1. Thanks for the mention and for including me in something you're grateful for! Luanne didn't take the chance to promote her own blog (one of three she writes), so here's the link back to Writers Site: