Artie Decker (Billy Crystal), the longtime announcer for Fresno’s minor-league baseball team, has just been fired. The aging Decker didn’t post on Facebook or tweet enough to satisfy management. And let’s not even discuss the last time he “hashtagged.” During the screening, an elderly woman sitting behind me snorted and turned to a small child: “I bet you know what all those terms meant,” she said. That, in a nutshell, is the target audience: old people who still find Crystal funny and children who don’t know any better. Bette Midler is also here for people who remember the ’80s and early ’90s. Parental Guidance
even features a cameo by Tony Hawk, the Billy Crystal of skateboarding. Upon discovering they’re the second-tier grandparents, Midler and Crystal descend upon their daughter’s (Marisa Tomei) fully automated household to take care of their quirky grandkids while Tomei and her husband are out of town. The two out-of-touch grandparents bond with the kids and learn to become better parents. Tired technology jokes aside, this is a fairly pleasant, predictable and feel-good holiday movie. Even a Grinch like me chuckled a few times.