Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Parental Guidance

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some rude humor
Profanity:Some schoolyard language
Nudity/Sex:Potty and other bodily function humor, mild sexual references
Alcohol/Drugs:Some alcohol
Violence/Scariness:Comic peril and violence
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2012

This shtick-y, utterly synthetic sit-com of a movie telegraphs its every joke and then pounds the audience over the head to make sure we get them.  Oh, we get them.  We just wish we didn’t.

Artie (Billy Crystal) is a minor league baseball announcer who always dreamed of announcing for the Giants.  He is fired at the end of the season because he is too old-school.  Insert “What’s Twitter?” and “What’s an Angry Bird?” jokes.  His wife, Diane (Bette Midler), teaches pole dancing in their living room for no reason except that it must be funny to see middle-aged ladies try to pole dance.  Their daughter, Alice (Marisa Tomei) is happily married to Phil (“That Thing You Do'” Tom Everett Scott), newly settled in Atlanta with their three children.

Phil’s new project is a super-duper high-tech home system that welcomes every family member when they come into the house, bids them farewell when they leave and talks to and spies on them in between.  When Artie and Diane arrive to babysit while Alice and Phil go to a business conference, we can expect to be treated to the conflict between Artie, whose ability with technology ended with the dial phone (until the script calls for him to pull up a track on an iPod) and the high-tech house.  And when Alice explains that their parenting philosophy is to say “remember the consequences” instead of “no” and insist on three “put-ups” to counter any “put-downs,” we can expect that, well, there will be consequences.  Everyone tries hard, but the talented cast is utterly wasted in a series of mind-numbingly obvious and heart-numbingly phony set-ups.

YouTube Preview Image

The oldest grandchild is Harper (Bailee Madison, giving the film’s best performance), a middle-schooler who is something of a perfectionist.  She has a big violin audition coming up, a teacher who thinks anyone who isn’t up to her standards should be shunned, and an increasing sense that she is missing out on some of the fun of the pre-teen years.  The youngest is Barker (Kyle Harrison Breitkopf), a high-spirited five-year-old perpetual flight risk who insists on calling his grandfather “Fartie,” which is even less hilarious than you might hope.  No good asking him to consider the consequences; there aren’t any.

Then there’s the middle child, Turner (Joshua Rush), a stressed-out, shy kid with a bad stutter.  The cynical sloppiness of this film is revealed in Turner’s miraculous transformation into a completely fluent speaker as the result of hearing the famous Russ Hodges “Giants win the pennant” broadcast, disrespectful in the extreme to those who struggle with speech impediments and to those who work with them.

It is filled with poorly staged slapstick and potty humor.  Artie gets hit in the crotch and throws up on the face of the kid who hit him.  Barker pees onto a half-pipe, causing Tony Hawk(!) to crash. There’s an extended nose-picking sequence.  The consequences of these moments — this movie is awful.

Parents should know that this film has extended and graphic potty and other bodily function humor, schoolyard language, comic peril, drinking, unrealistic portrayal of a “cure” for stuttering, and mild sexual references.

Family discussion: What are the biggest differences in the styles of parenting in this movie?  Which one do you agree with?  What did the three kids learn from their time with their grandparents?

If you like this, try: the “Wimpy Kid” movies



Previous Posts

Does PG-13 Mean Anything Anymore?
The Washington Post has an article about a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Parental Desensitization to Violence and Sex in Movies," with some disturbing conclusions about parents' ability to make good decisions about the impact some media may have on their children. This is not

posted 8:00:58am Oct. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Is E-Reading to Kids the Same as Analog Reading?
The New York Times asks, Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time? In a 2013 study, researchers found that children ages 3 to 5 whose parents read to them from an electronic book had lower reading comprehension than children whose parents used traditional books. Part of th

posted 8:00:40am Oct. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Todd and Jedd Wider about the Bullying Documentary "Mentor"
Producers Todd and Jedd Wider generously took time to answer my questions about their documentary, "Mentor," the story of two teenagers who committed suicide following relentless bullying. The film, which received Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Feature at the 2014 Woodstock Film Festival th

posted 3:56:57pm Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Clip: Tinkerbell and the Legend of the NeverBeast
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ApzHJhZz2JQ" frameborder="0"] The latest in Disney's animated Tinkerbell series adds Ginnifer Goodwin to the cast. Coming in March of 2015, it explores the ancient myth of a mysterious creature whose distant roar sparks the curiosity

posted 1:23:59pm Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: "Avatar" Villain Stephen Lang on Playing a Good Guy Coach in "23 Blast"
Stephen Lang is best known for playing the villain in "Avatar." But in "23 Blast," based on the real-life story of Travis Freeman, a high school football player who lost his vision but stayed on the team, Lang plays a good guy, the coach who encouraged and supported him. I talked to Lang about actin

posted 5:56:30am Oct. 24, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.