Billy Crystal and Bette Midler do all they can (which is a lot) to entertain us in
To the modest picture's benefit, Example A of this sort of parent is played by Marisa Tomei. She doesn't force a single moment, comic or dramatic, even the ones that come pre-forced by the script and by the director, Andy Fickman.
Crystal, who takes one in the 'nads from a Little League slugger's bat in the name of slapstick, plays a recently fired Fresno minor league baseball announcer, married to a former regional TV weather lady, portrayed by Midler. Their daughter (Tomei) has recently relocated to Atlanta with her husband (
The kids are played by
The pathos: considerable. The sight gags, involving Crystal puking chili dog on a kid's face, or the grandson with an imaginary friend peeing and causing an
The performers milk this one like lifelong dairy farmers. And the way Tomei manages to suggest a real person, with real and conflicted feelings about her parents as well as her own instincts as a mother, provides "Parental Guidance" with a streak of honesty it barely knows how to accommodate.