Friday, January 04, 2013
From the opening scene of Billy Crystal doing his baseball radio schtick to the next scene where Bette Midler and friends are pole dancing, completely dressed, with a promise of cheesecake after, to the following scene where their daughter, Marisa Tomei, calls them reluctantly and asks them to come to their ‘smart house’ to sit with their 3 grandchildren you know exactly what is going to happen step by step. You get pulled into the movie, especially during the schmaltzy directing by Andy Fickman and the screenplay by Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse, that you stay until the end of the credits not because you are interested in them but because you want your eyes to dry before you step out into the light.
Billy Crystal, as one of the producers fits his part like a glove, dominating the film while Midler and Tomei bring more to their roles than required. Tom Everett Scott plays Tomei’s husband and does what he can with a nothing, second fiddle role while the children are undermined by the annoying roles they are asked to play.
There has been talk about why this film is doing almost twice the business that the Streisand-Rogen film “The Guilt Trip” is doing and it seems because this film is more of an all family affair though both revolve on the connection of parents with their children.
Along with Crystal’s bouts with the home’s technology you have the many sentimental scenes between grandparents and grandchildren from imaginary playmates to how to handle bullies not to forget the scenes between the the mothers and daughters plus the mother and her father.
All aspects of the production values are first class though the score by Marc Shaiman is disappointing.
You will hate yourself for enjoying this hour and 45 minutes movie but you will, even though you might be ashamed to recommend this to anyone.