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Bette Midler hopes to keep the world laughing

PG-144  Billy Crystal Bette Midler portray Artie Diane Decker who agree babysit their three grandkids when their type-A helicopter

PG-144 Billy Crystal and Bette Midler portray Artie and Diane Decker, who agree to babysit their three grandkids when their type-A helicopter parents (Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott) go away for work. But when 21st century problems collide with Artie and Diane’s old school methods of tough rules, lots of love and old-fashioned games, it’s learning to bend – and not holding your ground – that binds a family together.

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Bette Midler, whose new movie, “Parental Guidance,” is about parenting techniques new and old, says her style was always a mix.

“You shouldn’t be rigid about anything,” Midler says. “You have to be flexible and listen to your child. Of course, you need to be firm when it’s time to be firm.”

In the film (currently in theaters), she and Billy Crystal star as the grandparents who are called in for some babysitting duty when their daughter must go out of town.

“I’m not sure all this hovering parents do is a great thing for kids,” says Midler, 67. “It’s a little crippling. You don’t want kids to be weeds or hothouse flowers. There is a happy medium. “I think children should be kept warm, fed and brought up to be human beings.”

Midler, the parent of grown daughter Sophie, says her style is “basic common sense, which gets the short shift these days. That’s too bad.”

Maybe she could practice on grandchildren? Midler laughs.

“I forbid my daughter to get pregnant. I’m not quite ready for it yet. I can’t even babysit now. I can’t give up ‘Boardwalk Empire’ to babysit.”

Midler says she wanted to do the project for one reason: “I’ve watched Billy for a long time and it’s always a good time. He’s one of the greats. When he called, I was delighted. Now I can say I worked with Billy Crystal.”

Midler is in such good physical shape in the movie that many are asking: What is she doing?

“The main thing is you have to move. You must move. At the same time, you have to accept your body and learn to like your body. It’s also crucial to stop putting stuff into your body that turns your body against you including acid inducing stuff. That’s how people get out of whack.”

Midler says that ec-friendly projects that clean up New York keep her feeling young. After her two-year residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas that ended in 2010, she’s now planning a new CD.

“I’m engaged and I like the world,” she says. “I know life is not going to go on forever, so my motto is to enjoy it while you got it. I want to make good movies that make people laugh. It think that’s a generous thing. It’s something people need in this world. People need to laugh more.”

Big Picture News Inc.

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