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Admiral Frank Beardsley returns to New London to run the Coast Guard Academy, his last stop before a probable promotion to head the Guard. A widower with eight children, he runs a loving but tight ship, with charts and salutes. The kids long for a permanent home. Helen North is a free spirit, a designer whose ten children live in loving chaos, with occasional group hugs. Helen and Frank, high school sweethearts, reconnect at a reunion, and it's love at first re-sighting. They marry on the spot. Then the problems start as two sets of kids, the free spirits and the disciplined preppies, must live together. The warring factions agree to work together to end the marriage. Written by
Nothing against Dennis Quaid or Rene Russo, but they certainly were in way over their heads, not because they had to contend with 18 snotty brats, but rather because of this tedious and contrived script adaptation that strangles a once amusing story.
First of all, the romance is implausible. A stern Coast Guard admiral who regiments his ten offspring like so many deck swabbies meets a free-spirit who lets her eight kids run wild, and these polar opposites fall instantly in love? Then, like two infatuated teenagers, they impulsively run off and elope faster than you can say, "Vegas wedding with Elvis, please." After this, the movie just disintegrates into a parade of scenes of this mob of kids yelling, crying, fighting, breaking things, or something always falling on the dad. No comedy; just tired, overused old jokes, and monotonously boring. The plot is built upon these hateful creeps plotting to destroy their parents' marriage and happiness. Funny? No, it's not. Typical of this inept movie is the routine ending which doesn't even fit the action that precedes it. For those who can't wait to see the obligatory scene of a little kid puking, don't worry; it's here too. After watching this, you may do the same.
Just plain irritating.
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