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Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)

  Directed by: Shawn Levy
Written by: Joel Cohen, Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, Frank B. Gilbreth Jr., Sam Harper, Alec Sokolow, Craig Titley
Starring: Hilary Duff, Bonnie Hunt, Steve Martin, Piper Perabo, Tom Welling
Links: Cheaper by the Dozen on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on DVD, Buy the Book
Genre: Comedy

This movie gets: 5.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Jokes which get ‘cheaper by the dozen’" - a review by em_fiction

Meet the Baker family. Tom Baker (Steve Martin) and Kate Baker (Bonnie Hunt) are the parents of twelve annoying loud-mouthed kids, except for perhaps the three oldest kids, Nora, Charlie and Lorraine (somehow played by the likes of Coyote Ugly (2000)'s Piper Perabo, Smallville's Tom Welling and The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003)'s Hilary Duff respectively). The big family move from their Illinois countryside home to the big city where Tom takes on his dream job as a football coach and Kate fulfils hers of publishing a book. Alas, things at home become terribly catastrophic when Kate leaves to promote her new book. Tom is left to juggle his responsibilities as both a coach and as a father of an uncontrollable bunch who are all still reluctant to accept their new home.

The film's opening is quite different to the sort of film you would expect after seeing the ads, trailers, etc. It actually looked like a sensible film that perhaps might've had potential. Unfortunately, the film sort of broke this 'promise' about ten minutes in, as soon as the lame jokes kicked in. At first I might've had one or two decent giggles but as the film progressed, the laughter didn't. Small, undemanding children may find this film funny but for the grown-ups, the jokes get more and more tedious.

The casting is also terribly unimaginative. I really do believe that Steve Martin is a comedy legend but it's sad to see that lately, he's resorted to taking on such bland material; this film being a fine example. Bonnie Hunt always tends to play some sort of motherly character (if not a mother) so it wasn't terribly interesting to see her in this role. And having the names Perabo, Welling and Duff all in the same breath is clearly a sign that the director was more interested in picking the best looking, most popular people to harvest audiences rather than seeking actors who actually look like siblings. As for the child cast, well, they were so damn annoying that it was hard to like any of them.

I feel obliged to say at least one nice thing about this film, so here it is: I never thought I'd say this, but Ashton Kutcher makes a glowing appearance in this film. He plays the uncredited role of Hank, Nora's boyfriend, an aspiring but haughty actor who lands himself in several misadventures while in the Baker household. I actually found myself overcome with genuine laughter during his conversation with Nora's parents. I guess that occasionally, the film does have its moments. Kids will like it, Hilary Duff fans will possibly like it (although her role isn't incredibly big) but grown-ups can easily do without this pile of mediocrity.

em_fiction gives this movie 5 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 22 Jan 2004

Movie review statistics

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Reader comments

  1. I thought this was the coolest movie.

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Mia on Fri 23 Jan 2004 14:59 #

  2. i think this was a great fil and i fancy the pants off of one of the actors!problem is i dont know his name in rel life!could you help me!he is the skater dude with long hair!one of the sons!please help x x x

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from kelly on Thu 19 Feb 2004 07:34 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (2 ratings)

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