Academy Award Winner Marisa Tomei stars alongside comedy legends Billy Crystal and Bette Midler in the heartwarming family comedy “Parental Guidance.”
Tomei plays Alice, daughter of Artie (Crystal) and Diane (Midler) who calls her parents for help to babysit their three children when she and husband Phil (Tom Everett Scott) had to go away for work. Alice and Phil’s parenting methods are miles apart from her parents which is Alice’s significant concern. Once left with the grandkids, unknown to the couple, Artie and Diane’s old school methods of tough rules, lots of love and old fashioned games soon becomes a welcome part of their children’s daily lives.
Alice is a formidable taskmaster and is nothing less than the motor in her and husband Phil’s household. She’s the consummate multi-tasker, lives to nurture, and will do whatever it takes – including wheedle, charm, joke – to keep everything running smoothly and stay connected to her kids. “Like many moms, Alice keeps the calendar and cookies,” Tomei says, in a bit of understatement.
Alice’s 21st century methods of raising her children are facilitated by the “smart house” technological marvels designed by Phil. Everything in their home is fully automated and interactive, thanks to an artificial intelligence that programs everything from the kids’ schedules to what they eat, and it’s compatible with the DVR and coffee maker. But for the technologically-challenged Artie, it’s more like the menacing HAL 9000 computer of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey…or worse.
Bringing aboard Marisa Tomei to portray Alice was another big coup for the production. The Oscar-winning actress is known for both her rich dramatic performances and sharp comedic turns, and she employs both aspects in her portrayal of a well-meaning, über-disciplined, New Age mom at odds with her dad’s more relaxed and traditional parenting methods. “Working with Marisa was like having a great dance partner,” says Tom Everett Scott, who portrays Alice’s husband, Phil. Scott says that Phil has a more easygoing perspective on Artie and Diane babysitting his kids. “Phil doesn’t have that history with them that Alice has, of course,” says the actor. “He’s able to take Artie and Diane’s different approach to things, in stride.”
“Marisa Tomei plays our daughter and she is fantastic. Marisa is a great actress. She actually auditioned for me 21 years ago as a young actress for a movie I was directing called MR. SATURDAY NIGHT. She was going to play my wife. She was so cute and so talented, but she was too young for that character. Then when I called her in about this film, she came in to see me, sat down and laughed and said: ‘great, now I'm too old to play your daughter right?’ But we cast her and she’s terrific as Alice. She has a funny side and a sad side. She made sense as our daughter and I loved working with her,” says Crystal.
Marisa Tomei continues to bridge the gap between rich, dramatic performances and smart, comedic turns. Working with large studios or independent houses, Marisa consistently brings her independent spirit to every project with which she is involved. Marisa won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in “My Cousin Vinny,” and earned her second and third Academy nominations for “In the Bedroom” and “The Wrestler.” Some of her movie credits include “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” “Ides of March,” “Lincoln Lawyer,” “What Women Want,” “Happy Accidents,” “Anger Management,” “The Guru,” “Untamed Heart” and “Unhook the Stars.”
Continuing the spirit of the holiday season, “Parental Guidance” opens January 16 in theaters nationwide in the Phils. from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.