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Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Family  |  25 December 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 69,863 users   Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 287 user | 104 critic | 30 from

With his wife doing a book tour, a father of twelve must handle a new job and his unstable brood.



(novel) (as Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr.) , (novel), 4 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:


The Bakers, a family of 14, move from small-town Illinois to the big city after Tom Baker gets his dream job to coach his alma mater's football team. Meanwhile, his wife also gets her dream of getting her book published. While she's away promoting the book, Tom has a hard time keeping the house in order while at the same time coaching his football team, as the once happy family starts falling apart. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


This Christmas The More... The Scarier! See more »


Comedy | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and some thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

25 December 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Im Dutzend billiger  »

Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$27,557,647 (USA) (26 December 2003)


$138,614,544 (USA) (4 June 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Forrest Landis was 9 years old at the time of the film's release just like his character, Mark Baker. See more »


When Kate opens the closet doors, she flinches before the toys fall on her. See more »


[last lines]
Kate: [voiceover] I guess you could say that when Tom and I left Midland we had a mess of theories about how to raise children. We still have a mess of children, but no theories. Sure, 12 is still our number. It's the number of months my book was on the bestseller list. It's the number of job offers Tom turned down before we found one close to home. And each day it's the number of times I'm thankful there's such a thing as family.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Over the first part of the credits, we see outtakes. See more »


Featured in Knocked Up (2007) See more »


I'm Just a Kid
Written by Pierre Bouvier, Chuck Comeau (as Charles-Andre Comeau), David Desrosiers,
Arnold Lanni, Sebastien Lefebvre and Jeff Stinco (as Jean-Francois Stinco)
Performed by Simple Plan
Courtesy of Lava Records LLC
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Only something like the original
18 April 2004 | by See all my reviews

There is some resemblance to the original movie in this film (as well as some elements borrowed from the sequel "Belles on their Toes"). The writers did include various ideas such as the move for the father's job, the family council, the father being offered the opportunity of his dreams, the father being a somewhat eccentric and unusual character, the mother being the calm one, etc. It also borrows just as much from sixties family comedies such as "Yours, Mine, and Ours" (i.e. the son that feels left out in the family group, the older brother who give "cool" advice to the younger ones, the kids trying to "sabotage" various events, etc.).

This version lacks something that the original one had. The original moved along with the pace of the changes in the family's life as normal life does. It also seemed to capture better the idea of trying to raise such a large group of children and the sacrifices and choices one has to make. There is also some semblance of what it is like to be a child in this family by keeping that focus on only one of the children, while still giving us glimpses of what the other ones are like.

The film, however, seemed to be more of a showcase for the comedic talents of Steven Martin than anything else. It also didn't move along in the same way that the original making the story somewhat unsatisfying.

Frank Gilbreth never lost the idea that his family was the most important thing where as Steve Martin's character has to be brought back into the fold. It is understandable that he would want something for himself, but to get him to the point where he sees his children as a burden and a liability is a problem. Thankfully in the end he comes back to being a part of his family, but the fact that he had to be causes the story to loose some of its charm.

The thing that made Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth want to write about their family was the joy that they knew in living in it despite the trials and tribulations. In this version of their story the joy seems to be lost and has to be recaptured. The director and writer are lucky enough that at least a little bit does.

12 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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