Steve Martin's hit comedy Cheaper by the Dozen - yet another pointless remake - shows just how bad having 12 kids can be, and just how unreasonable it is in the modern age. While large families might have been a popular idea 55 years ago when the original film was released, this Cheaper by the Dozen is inadvertently a story about neglect.
While Martin is always funny, many of his recent movies are not. He generally gets in some good jokes regardless of the screenplay, but - let's face facts - he hasn't made a really funny movie in almost ten years. Cheaper by the Dozen is no different; it has its moments, but overall fails to execute.
The movie has been a success for many reasons, but none of those revolve around the screenplay. The truth of the matter is that 20th Century Fox achieved a marketing dream by casting Bonnie Hunt to draw in the women and Hilary Duff, Tom Welling (Clark Kent in "Smallville") and Ashton Kutcher to appeal to the younger crowds. None of the cast members are used to their full potential, especially Hunt.
The two biggest problems with Cheaper by the Dozen are: a) the movie isn't funny and b) the story doesn't fit with the modern day world. While Martin tries his hardest, few of the jokes really take off; the result is a bland, boring film that has a lot of goofy antics but not much else. Furthermore, the idea of two hard-working parents with 12 children is preposterous nowadays. Personally, I find it sick when modern day parents have more than four children, and this movie has three times that amount. Cheaper by the Dozen seems to be nothing more than a story about neglect. The two parents hardly know their children's names, and with one traveling the country on a book tour, the other coaching college football, they have absolutely no time for their kids. It's pathetic, and not funny.
Cheaper by the Dozen has a few good jokes, but mostly, the movie falls flat on its face.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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