Cheaper By The Dozen Review
Tries to tackle everything, but ends up tackling nothing
Quick Thoughts - Literally no one was asking for Disney to reboot this beloved classic. When you remake a classic, there is very minimal room for error, but Cheaper By The Dozen misses by so much that it is bad before you even start to compare it to the original.
The Good - There are a couple funny moments and one sweet storyline that centers around the family taking in their troubled nephew Seth. This was the one new storyline that I thought the film did a really good job with.
The Bad - The opening few minutes of the film give us Braff’s cheesy and awkward voiceover that lets you know early on that the next 2 hours are going to be a bumpy ride. Also in the opening few minutes of the film we see one of the major flaws of the film, the story and family was WAY too complex (EX: The mom is married, has kids, then is divorced. The dad is married, has kids, then is divorced. They then get married, have kids of their own, and then also adopt some kids. On top of this, both of their ex-spouses are heavily involved in the plot, and a nephew also comes to stay with them). I understand that they were trying to make everyone find something to relate to in the story, but that came at the cost of confusion. It took me almost the whole movie to figure out how some of the characters fit in (like Paul’s ex-wife) and I honestly thought that one of the kids was just a friend over at their house until almost the end of the movie.
The main flaw with the film is that it tries to hit on way too many weighty issues and it couldn’t decide which one it wanted to focus on. Throughout the film the topics of racism, parenting with a divorced spouse, bullying, classism, sexism, theft, drug addiction, adoption, and white parents raising black children. Because this movie tried to tackle everything, it felt like the end result was that it tackled nothing. It also just ruins the fun and excitement that the Baker family is known for because we are always being present with weighty issue after weighty issue.
On top of everything that I have already mentioned, the editing is chaotic, the acting is painful and robotic at times, and the whole thing is just noisy and cheesy.
Lesson the film tries to teach - Money and success will never match the joy that comes from family
Rating - 30/100
Best Performance - Mykal-Michelle Harris as Luna stole the show
Honorable Mention - N/A
Will I watch again - No
Would I recommend - No, if you want this story, watch the original
Final Takeaways - The only good thing that came out of me spending two hours of my time watching this is that I gained a deeper appreciate for how great Steve Martin’s Cheaper by the Dozen is. Additionally, the similarity between Zach Braff and Dax Shepard made me wish that we got a Cheaper by the Dozen with Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell as the parents instead of this remake.