Cheaper by the Dozen


Cheaper by the DozenCast:
Steve Martin as Tom Baker
Bonnie Hunt as Kate Baker
Piper Perabo as Nora Baker
Tom Welling as Charlie Baker
Hilary Duff as Lorraine Baker
Kevin Schmidt as Henry Baker
Alyson Stoner as Sarah Baker
Jacob Smith as Jake Baker
Liliana Mumy as Jessica Baker
Morgan York as Kim Baker
Forrest Landis as Mark Baker
Blake Woodruff as Mike Baker
Brent Kinsman as Nigel Baker
Shane Kinsman as Kyle Baker
Paula Marshall as Tina Shenk

Cheaper by the Dozen is a remake of the 1950 movie of the same name. The similarities pretty much stop at parents having 12 children. The original is a fictionalization of the life of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, the parents of time-motion studies as well as twelve kids. Their life, and the original movie revealed this, was very regimented, and they used their own children as test subjects for theories on how to make life more efficient. The chaos that permeates Tom and Kate Baker’s (Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt) house in this remake would have sent the real Gilbreths into shock, but it does make for some fun moments.

Tom is a college football coach at a small rural university that does not mind his large family intruding on his coaching duties. Kate is a sports reporter who opted to be full time mother as the family started to grow. Their happy, if hectic, life changes dramatically when a dream job in Chicago is offered to them.

The movie is basically a family film and does not touch on many higher social issues. The original made you question the actions of Gilbreth’s and whether society was going in the right direction. The remake is “Home Alone” with twelve children. Many of the scenes are taken standards for the family movie genre. Children running wild, people hanging from chandeliers, dog bites in sensitive places – pretty much the standard bag of tricks.

The story itself is nice and heartwarming, but it lacks depth. It is geared to an audience with parents and children and most of the script is spent with keeping the smaller viewers entertained. The technical aspects of the film are solid. The music fits well and is not overplayed.

Who should see this movie? Anyone that is looking for a safe family movie to take the kids to. There are a few bad words, but none of the biggies. The children act horribly at times, but they do pay a price for their actions. If you are looking for a modern update of the original, you need to go elsewhere. There is little similarity here. The action is all of the pratfall variety, which does lead to many funny moments. The love between Tom and Kate will make the romantics smile. Overall, if you are looking for a light family movie that will ultimately be forgotten when the next one of its kind comes out, then this is the movie for you.