Dave's Rating:


… a dumb movie from right now.

Who's in it: Rene Russo, Dennis Quaid, Linda Hunt, Rip Torn, Jerry O'Connell and 18 kids

The Basics: A widower with eight kids and a widow with 10 kids get married and subsequently slimed with green goop on family outings to the hardware store. Oh, those adorable moppets.

What's the Deal? It's a remake of a dumb movie from 1968, and now it's a dumb movie from right now. Of course, if you're 8, you're not going to care. You're just going to like how it's the parents who need to learn the true lessons in the movie, and how the kids are the ones who band together with Kid Power to make it a happen. Then there's the added bonus of every other scene being some kind of food or paint fight, which is awesome.

What This Movie Is Really About: For adults, it's Death-of-the-Middle-Class, socioeconomic soft-core porn about being able to afford a truly gigantic house with great shabby-chic furniture, an office for Dad, an art studio for Mom, a live-in housekeeper and a lighthouse for private make-out sessions away from the kids. It's the reason The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio tanked at the box office: It dared to suggest that a family of 12 might more likely live in abject poverty.

In a Big Fight With Cheaper by the Dozen: It's like, "Oh, yeah? Twelve kids? That's nothing! We're gonna make one with 18 kids! And then next, one with, like, 25 kids!"

Mixed Message: It's a little weird to see stretchy-faced Russo playing a funky-mama bohemian artist who doesn't care about society's rules and making big, fake, plastic "good impressions." I'm not saying she's done anything to her face. Maybe she's aging this way naturally. It just seems as though in real life, a person like that would have maybe a few more wrinkles.

A Funny Anecdote About Academy Award Winner Linda Hunt, Who Plays the Sharp-Tongued Live-in Housekeeper: She almost ran me over once while I was crossing Sunset Boulevard on the way to my allergist appointment. She gave me that "Ooops! Sorry! Didn't see you there!" wave, and I forgave her because she's an Academy Award winner.


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