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Cheaper by the Dozen II, like most sequels, wasn't as good as its predecessor but was a safe movie bet, allowing you to fall back into a familiarity of the first and have some more fun with it. It picks up a couple years after the first installment with changes abound as the oldest daughter is now married and pregnant and with everyone growing up, the Bakers plan to vacation one last time at their old summer nesting grounds before sending off newly graduated Lurraine (Hillary Duff) to New York. Ashton Kutcher's out of the picture, while Eugene Levy enters the scene as Steve Martin's rival, providing some decent comic relief. Knowing full-well, they can't focus on all twelve kids, Tom Welling's newfound romance and rebelliousness are underdeveloped, while the unfortunate mistake is made of shifting the focus to Hillary Duff's character. Duff basically plays a caricature of herself (or at least her public image) as a teenage diva, who only worked in the first movie because she was distilled in small doses. There's also a side story with one of the younger siblings having her first crush. Like the first film, this installment relies on Martin's physical comedy for laughs with some very relatable moments along the way and in the end, the family wins out over all other forces.
As a teenage girl, and a fan of the first movie, I found the sequel to Cheaper by the Dozen to be above my expectations. Usually, movie sequels are a disappointment, I have found, as was with Shrek 2, for example, but I found that Cheaper by the Dozen 2 was hilarious and a really good movie outlining the importance of family and family values. Yes, it was slightly predictable, as these movies often are, but I found that was strongly over-ridden by the comedy and 'slap-stick' that happened throughout the film to make it so entertaining. All the family had matured since that first film and it was interesting to see what the children had grown up to be like, and how much they had changed since the first film. I recommend this movie to fans of the first film, or anyone who just wants to see a light-hearted, 'feel-good' and all-over great movie.
I never saw Cheaper by the Dozen (the 2003 surprise hit), and I don't think you have to see it so get all you can out of the sequel. That is to say, there is little to get out of it, so don't waste your time "preparing" for it. Cheaper by the Dozen 2 is a formulaic family comedy where Steve Martin becomes a father possessed with a drive to outdo another father, only to be reminded that his family will still love him no matter if they win the big movie-contrived competition or not. Tom Baker (Steve Martin) and his wife, Kate (Bonnie Hunt) begin the movie by attending their daughter's graduation ceremony with his 11 other kids. Lorraine's graduation (Hilary Duff, no singing this time) motivates Tom to start thinking about how the family is moving apart from the customary tight-knit group he remembers, so he wants to take the family on one last vacation. So they load up the cars and vans and head out to some lake somewhere in the Midwest (or Canada, depending on the film's budget), a lake that has seen the evil Jimmy Murtaugh (Eugene Levy) buy up all of the land and build super lake homes on the shore. Jimmy and Tom have a history, one that is sort of dumb and is one of those back stories that can only be written for a story like this one. I really like Eugene Levy as a comedic actor, but I don't think he was right for this role. Levy excels in understated humor, where his character has no idea he's being funny. The role of Jimmy is over-the-top and cliché and I didn't think he fit the role well at all. Carmen Electra plays Jimmy's wife, and she's actually very good at playing the bimbo wife when given the chance, and the kid actors are generally good as well. The story is predictable and only mildly entertaining, but I guess families will enjoy the night out and there is a certain sweet charm to the final scenes of the film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As further proof that I see movies for unorthodox reasons, I didn't see
this movie for Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Hilary Duff, or the presumed
warmth of family values. It was that irrepressible little dancing
machine, Alyson Stoner that sold this movie for me, and I didn't even
know her name until I saw a poster for the 2003 remake. I was hoping
that she wasn't going to be the only reason to see the movie, though,
and I think I might have just lucked out on that agenda.
Tom & Kate Baker(Steve Martin & Bonnie Hunt) want one last chance to be the big family that they are, before they all go onto their own lives, so they invite everyone to an old cabin on a lake. Charlie(Tom Welling) now works in a garage, hoping to open one of his own, and despite his lack of interest in being part of the Baker Dozen, he jumps at the chance to go to the lake. Hilary Duff has lost a considerable amount of weight. Still, she resumes her role as family fashion-plate Lorraine Baker, who has just graduated from high school, and is on her way to New York for a job as an assistant for a fashion magazine. Having dumped her boyfriend from the first movie, Nora(Piper Pearbo) is married to Bud McNulty(MEAN GIRLS' Jonathan Bennett), and is very pregnant. Despite this, she still wants this last trip to the lake. Most of the other kids seem to serve as little more than human wallpaper, although FedEx(Forrest Landis)inadvertently causes a ruckus with some fireworks.
Along the way, they meet Jimmy Murtaugh(Eugene Levy) an old fair-weather friend of Tom's who has his own big family has bought most of the lake-front, has a bigger house, better toys, and is turning it into a huge upscale resort similar to The Poconos. He also prides himself on being a strict disciplinarian, and having been married to at least three other women before his current wife(Carmen Electra), and frequently rubs his lifestyle and wealth in Tom's face. Now the family fun is over, and both are determined to defeat each other's families in a lakefront competition.
Both Charlie(Welling) and Sarah(Stoner) fall in love with members of the opposite sex from the Murtaugh family, specifically Anne(Jamie King) and Elliot (Taylor Lautner). This only complicates the rivalry even further, although the movie saves itself by not trying to imitate "Romeo and Juliet." Stoner didn't disappoint me too much in this case, as she tries to hide her burgeoning girlish nature from those who know her as the havoc-wreaking tomboy she is. A lot has been made of this subplot as well as the scene where Sarah is caught trying to steal make-up and later agrees to let Lorraine perform a makeover on her for her first date. "Does it have to be pink," she asks. Well if it's a darker color, it wouldn't make you attractive to the boy, but perhaps that's just me. In any case, she doesn't really look that much different afterwards, and although both fathers screw up their date, like I suggested it's not a big tragedy.
For a sequel, it's fine. Not perfect, but fine. People who complain about sequel-mania in modern movies often forget that the original had a sequel too... a somewhat forgotten movie called "Belles On Their Toes(1952)." Having said that, I hope this second movie is the last. Interestingly enough, I also saw the remake of "Yours Mine and Ours" on the same day, but you can probably figure that out by my review of that movie as well.
I guess it's been a long time since Steve played the banjo on the
Muppet Show. I have really enjoyed some of Steve's movies..."Roxanne",
"Being There", etc. but he seems to have lost his touch in this one.
This movie is still very watchable mind you, but the "former" Steve is missing. It seems there were too many gags (ie; dog & crotch, dangling from balcony) and not enough real comedy like we're used to from Steve (such as the nose jokes in Roxanne).
Also this movie has nothing to do with the 1950 "Cheaper by the Dozen" (or it's original sequel "Belles on Their Toes")...other than 12 kids of course. It seemed more akin to "The Great Outdoors" or "Meatballs".
There were some cute scenes however: The two kids crush & the dads both spying on them in the theatre, and nearly giving birth in a canoe I found amusing. It would have been a lot more amusing had she actually given birth in the canoe though.
Oddly my favourite actress in this was the little girl (can't remember her name right now) who had the crush on the little boy. She was really cute and engaging. I hope she appears in more movies.
Thankfully, I did not pay money to see this (thanks to the wonders of bittorrent) But I will definitely be buying the DVD. It is a good family movie, just not up to my expectations for Steve Martin.
Possibly I should not endorse downloading, but movie-going is difficult where I live as it entails a long, costly ferry trip. Otherwise I probably would have seen this in a theatre.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In this sequel to Cheaper by the Dozen. I was surprised by the changes
that were made. All of the original cast was brought back, but there
was a new director and a new them for the second movie: An actual
I loved the first one don't get me wrong, but it's just a good gag movie with a whole lot of pranks. This second movie explores the characters and gets at the bottom of what makes them tick. I love the fact that didn't just try to rehash the first movie to get a second. I think they started a story line they could make a least one more movie from.
This movie had it all. I just love Bonnie Hunt, and I can't wait to get the DVD to see how many lines she added. That lady is hilarious.
In this movie the family leaves Chicago to go back to a lake house. Which was a nice change of pace. WHile there they are confronted with the "super" family from their past and competition is the force that drives this movie.
On a personal note, Hillary Duff was much cuter before she lost that weight, now she looks hideous! This movie was good! I would recommend to all ages and surprising enough as a date movie! Enjoy. Disney is bringing in the big guns this year!
This movie is as stereotypical as a family comedy can get in fact we
have seen so many similar roles from Steve Martin in family comedies
that one cannot honestly expect much from such films and indeed i went
into this movie(as the company demanded i see a pg rated film)
expecting as much.
The good part about the whole thing is that family comedies follow fool proof formulas and as such it is rare to find a bad one. So we have the summer release the 2 hot teens, one hot mom (carmen Electra looked spectacular), the overzealous and protective dad, the childhood romance etc etc you get what I'm saying right.
The acting of this movie is good with special mention for Steve Martin who is a regular comedy dad and even though brings nothing new to the film at least insures you never get bored. Eugene Levy also does a good job playing the eccentric dad of the rival family. Carmen Electra i realised is actually a good actress and looks great in this movie. However former preteen-queen Hilary duff looked way to thin and quite ugly.
The jokes of the film mostly squeaky clean although there is some much appreciated jokes for the adults that are so needed in this film. Particularly funny is the scene where the dog spoils the elaborate lunch, the take on another famous creature movie was hilarious. The film is filled with funny moments that will make you smile maybe force a half laugh but no scene is fall out your seat funny.
The film also serves the regular family fare with ease but almost every scene looks run of the mill and there is nothing new to add to film in the family-comedy-drama department. Being from India i found the father following his child on a date quite funny and something which i can actually picture someone who i know doing.
The movie is absolute run of the mill affair and loosed out on the novelty value that the first one enjoyed. However it serves the regular enjoyable family fare.
Watch it only if the company (family, going with friend and his girl friend for the first movie hehe) requires that you watch such a film.
Tom and Kate (Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt) decide to take the whole
family on a summer vacation to Lake Winnetka, but it soon turns into a
competition between their family and that of Tom's arch-rival Jimmy
Murtaugh (Eugene Levy).
Cheaper by the Dozen 2 is a harmless and bland sequel. It offers a few laughs but not enough to sustain its running time. The original film was an okay family film, nothing special. The sequel is more or less the same and it also makes for a decent family film. I was expecting a little more though. There are a few interesting subplots but the main premise is very silly. I know it's a family movie and all but why did the story have to be so generic? Since the script is weak there is a lack of character development, the film is kind of boring. There are a few funny gags and performances but they aren't good enough to save the movie.
The acting is okay and only a couple people give good performances. The best performance is given by Alyson Stoner. Her character goes through the most development and she handles it pretty well. Liliana Mumy and Morgan York also give good performances though they don't get a lot of screen time. The strength of the comedy should have been the rivalry between Steve Martin and Eugene Levy. Levy is only mildly funny while Steve Martin is not funny at all. He just tries too hard and it comes off as annoying. Bonnie Hunt gives a decent performance and she has a few funny lines. Hilary Duff gives an annoying performance as Lorraine and she's hardly in the film, which is a good thing. Carmen Electra makes for good eye candy but she doesn't do anything special. Piper Perabo and Jamie King both give decent performances. Tom Welling just gives a bland performance while Jonathon Bennett only has a few lines and his character is not developed at all.
Director Adam Shankman only does an okay job behind the camera. I like the way he captures the Baker family and their love for one another. There are some nice moments in the movie about family values and the ending is pretty nice. Besides for that, he just keeps the film bland and uninteresting while leaving out some of the Baker kids. On the one hand, I wanted the film to be longer than 90 minutes so all the characters could have been portrayed well. On the other hand, if they had kept the same story and made the film longer then the movie would have been unbearable. On a last note, compared to Yours, Mine and Ours, Cheaper by the Dozen 2 looks like a masterpiece. In the end, the movie is only average but it should make for a nice rental if you're looking for a family film. Rating 5/10
I liked the first one better, but this movie was funny in its own
I read someone's review before about how its nothing like the book. I haven't read the book, but, I have to say this - In this day and age did you really expect them to keep to the book? Look at all the other movies based on books - Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, for examples - they are as true representations as you get. Everything else - Ella Enchanted, for example - doesn't resemble the book in any way, excluding the title and the names of the characters. I've learned not to have high expectations of movies based on books, and until you do, you're always going to be disappointed. You've got to look at the movie for what it is, not for what the book was.
My Take: Trite, predictable family diversion.
After having dismissing it as a simple-minded family picture for many times, I gave CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, a very loose adaptation of a novel by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, a try and it turned out to be a surprise delight. It wasn't perfect, maybe not even formula, but I was delighted by it. It was a lot of fun and it never seemed to run our of energy, especially for the always funny Steve Martin. Martin is back in this sequel, and so is much of the same cast, Bonnie Hunt in particular. Joining the original cast is a new set of players including American PIE regular Eugene Levy, parody-movie regular Carmen Electra and another batch of kids and teens. This is CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN 2, and if I was wrong about the first film, I was more wrong to think this one will be better.
In this sequel, the family that couldn't get along leaves all their indifference behind a long time ago. Now their one big, happy family. While going on a camping vacation (as usual, they have to live inside a rotten, old cabin), they get into some competition with dad Tom Baker's (Martin) old rival Jimmy Murtaugh (Levy) and his family, composed of sexy wife Sarina (Electra) and eight children. See Murtaugh is athletic and daring while Tom only wishes that his kids (jealous as always) would have a better vacation. So on goes a series of challenges and competitions they go through, fighting for who gets the better summer this year.
Unfortunately, it might have not been the audience. Having missed it on the big screen, I caught CHEAPER 2 on TV and, since I wasn't really anticipating anything (a sequel to CHEAPER is nothing big to get excited about). That probably helps to be able to enjoy a movie like this. But while lowering your expectations might help at being kind to your response to it, that doesn't necessarily mean liking it. Martin and Levy (funny men, by the way) are at their best efforts, as Hunt playing responsible mother Kate, but they can't shine in a script than limits what they can do. Kids, as usual, will drag you to the video store to rent or buy it, and maybe you should. But don't be surprised if you won't like it. It really isn't made for you.
Rating: ** out of 5.
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