Tag Archives: Andy Fickman

[Review] – Parental Guidance

7 Jan

Parental Guidance

Title: Parental Guidance
Year: 2012
Director: Andy Fickman
Writers: Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse
Starring: Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott, Bailee Madison
MPAA Rating: PG, some rude humor
Runtime: 104 min
IMDb Rating: 5.8
Rotten Tomatoes: 19%
Metacritic: 37

Parental Guidance is the kind of movie that just shouldn’t really exist. During December when some of the very best films of the year are being released to vie for some awards attention we sometimes get stuff like this, family movies that are just absolutely horrible and that, like is also the case with this one, still manage to make a nice buck. Plus, no disrespect to them, but Billy Crystal and Bette Midler shouldn’t be the headliners of a movie in this decade.

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You Again

22 Oct

Title: You Again
Year: 2010
Director: Andy Fickman
Writer: Moe Jelline
Starring: Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman, Betty White
MPAA Rating: PG, brief mild language and rude behavior
Runtime: 105 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 5.3
Rotten Tomatoes: 15%

You Again is exactly what we should say to this film when we see it, it’s just another very typical, very mediocre light comedy. There’s not a single shot, not a single line, not a single second in this film that isn’t entirely, and painfully, predictable. That being said, I won’t fail this film, because it’s harmless, it sucks, yes, but it’s not a film that you’ll leave the theatre angry that you wasted time and money seeing it, you’ll probably think that time and money could have been used on more worthwhile things, but you won’t be angry about it.

But we just know these films too much by now, we know what will happen at every turn it takes, we know how if there’s a possibility of love it’ll all go downhill at the end of the second act and we’ll go through the third act of the couple apart only to always have them reunite at the end, that’s how it goes, we know this schtick by heart. And, personally, I don’t care for it at all unless it’s done extremely well, which pretty much never happens. For this to be done extremely well you need good characters, but, as is the case with the horrible majority of these films, the characters in You Again are seriously one-dimensional.

Here’s the basic plot outline: We have Kristen Bell’s character who in high school was bullied by Odette Yustman’s character and, oh coincidence, we have the mother of one and the aunt of the other who went through the exact same situation when they were in high school together, and I probably need to taell you nothing more about how this will all play out from here. And we also have Betty White as Kristen Bell’s grandmother. Here’s the thing about Betty White, we all love her, but if we’re on the topic of predictability, Betty White has grown into one predictable act as of late. But, really, who cares, she’s the most charming woman there can be, and she’s, along with Sigourney Weaver, the best thing about this film, which really isn’t saying that much.

So yes, this is a film about women who held on to stupid grudges for unbelievable amounts of time and then try and go out at each other in a series of lame slaptick-ish comedy bits that ultimately suck. Because it really is a movie filled with lame attempts to try and crack a good joke, which it basically never does, and, what’s worse, is that every single one of these attempts is at the expense of women, which is quite sad because this is a film for women, written by a woman and that stars five really cool ladies. And it still makes women seem spiteful and cruel and insecure, and it came as a shock that these girls were game for that. Plus, I’ll never buy Sigourney Weaver being any one of those things, I mean, she’s Ellen fuckin’ Ripley for god’s sake.

And that’s the film’s saving grace, the cast, they elevate this one to a point not remotely close to decent, but at least a bit above horrible. The are a couple of moments between Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Lee Curtis that are especially cool and give this film a couple of moments that make it feel quite passable. Same goes for Kristen Bell and Odette Yustman, two beautiful ladies I’m a fan of, Ms. Bell from her days in Veronica Mars, which I’m a diehard fan of, and Ms. Yustman after she got her big break with 2008’s Cloverfield.

But yes, overall, You Again is just a very lame revenge comedy, a very shallow film which you can predict from beginning to end without a single error. That’s the way it is, but as I said before, it’s harmless, you won’t hate, you just won’t care for it at all. But then again, maybe that’s worse.

Grade: C-