Cheaper By The Dozen

Cheaper By The Dozen

***

Reviewed by: Stephanie Wolfe Murray

Attractive, sports loving, middle-American couple (Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt) have 12 children. They live in the country, Illinois way, and life is chaotic, but happy. We share their little heartaches, trials and tribulations, with offspring aged between twentysomething and four-year-old twins. Squirming already?

Dad is offered a job in the city to coach the football team. It's his dream. They're off, amid squawks, tears and tantrums. And they're going to be happy. Dad promised.

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Mom hears the exciting news that her book - same title as the film - is about to be published and she must leave for a three day promotional tour. Three days turns into two weeks and ...

Dad won't let Mom know that he's barely coping. Not coping? It's mayhem. Hysterical. And he's supposed to be the big new football coach, the saviour of the team. Something's gotta give.

Mom returns and they have to choose: the football team, or their home-made team?

A thin plot? You bet!

But there are moments of hilarity, watching the family not coping, and plenty to identify with. Martin is typecast to perfection, although Hunt seems ridiculously slim and nubile for someone who is supposed to have given birth to a dozen babies. The children are funny and a surprising number emerge as genuine characters. That said, it's unavoidably corny, with a storyline that goes nowhere.

If you must see it, don't hold back. Enjoy the chaos.

Reviewed on: 13 Feb 2004
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Comedy chaos for family of 12.
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Director: Shawn Levy

Writer: Sam Harper, Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow, based on the novel by Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

Starring: Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Piper Perabo, Tom Welling, Hilary Duff, Kevin Schmidt, Alyson Stoner, Jacob Smith, Liliana Mumy, Morgan York, Forrest Landis, Blake Woodruff, Brent Kinsman, Shane Kinsman

Year: 2003

Runtime: 98 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US

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Cheaper by the Dozen 2