Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Walden Media, Chernin Entertainment,
Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott, Bailee Madison, Joshua Rush, Kyle Harrison Breitkopf, Jennifer Crystal Foley, Gedde Watanabe, Rhoda Griffis, Madison Lintz, Brad James
Phil (Tom Everett Scott) and Alice Simmons (Marisa Tomei) are uptight busy parents with strong ideas on the right way to raise children. They have three kids who are as straight laced as their parents who believe in not eating sweets, using inside voices, and use your words to solve problems, and the like. Phil and Alice have not been away since their youngest was born, and an opportunity to go away for a week for work arises, but there is no one left to watch the kids. No one that is, except for Alice’s Parents, Artie (Billy Crystal) and Diane Decker (Bette Midler) who are very much different and a lot looser than their daughter. Against her better judgement Alice invites them to watch the kids for a week, and they accept, and madness and mayhem ensues in this generation gap comedy. The grandparents really want to do a good job, but they just can’t understand the new age rules on child rearing, and fall back upon their old school ways of watching kids with hilarious results.
This is similar to a lot of other family comedies. It’s exactly what you’d expect from Billy and Bette. It’s old style family comedy where the kids rebel against the parents and the parents rebel against their parents. The comedy is good. Many of the gags and pranks here are different from what I’ve seen before, so that is why I rate it so highly. If they simply borrowed from every other similar film, it wouldn’t be good, but this is not a Meet the Fockers ripoff. Of course it’s very similar to other similar films. Jane Fonda has done a few of these, and even Roseanne Barr. But this was enjoyable enough for me, and I really enjoyed my time watching it. Billy and Bette are really good together, and the grandparents really love each other and their daughter and grandkids, so it’s not all family fights from start to finish, but they are learning new ways and the parents need to learn from the wisdom of the older generation too, so it’s got heart and good family values. No one here is cheating or betraying anybody, they’re just trying to get along. Artie is up to some tricks, but he’s good hearted and a really lovable guy. The daughter is brilliantly played by Bailee Madison (the young Snow White from the Once Upon a Time ABC TV series) and it is really good to see her in a modern role. She’s really good as the stressed out daughter being forced to conform to her mother’s dreams. This is a cute story, not a great film, but very worth a family video evening. It’s a fun little comedy of family conflict and resolution.
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