PG for some crude humor
and mild language.
December 21, 2005
Comedy, Kids/Family, Sequel
Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt,
Piper Perabo, Eugene Levy, Hilary Duff
20th Century Fox
In providing movie reviews on our site, CBN.com is not endorsing or recommending films we review. Our goal is to provide Christians with information about the latest movies, both the good and the bad, so that our readers may make an informed decision as to whether or not films are appropriate for them and their families.
Cheaper By the Dozen 2
Dr. Ted Baehr
Cheaper by the Dozen 2 is a funny, friendly,
warm fuzzy movie that will help people appreciate dads, moms and
children. It is not a great movie like the 1950 original, but
it is a good movie full of good humor, with only a few scatological
references. Most of this movie is clean, wholesome and moral.
Fathers may even be brought to the brink of tears by their loving
portrayal in this movie.
Tom Baker, played by Steve Martin, loves his family of 12 children
and can't let go of them. At the graduation of his daughter, Lorraine,
played by Hilary Duff, he is shocked to find out she is going
to New York to work for Allure magazine. He is further
shocked that his pregnant older daughter, Nora, is leaving for
Huston with her husband Bud, who's just gotten a great job. Adding
insult to injury, nobody wants to participate in the family's
famous annual touch football game.
Tom decides to take them all back to the lake in Wisconsin where
they used to have so much family fun. There, he meets with his
childhood enemy, Jimmy Murtaugh, played by Eugene Levy. Jimmy
has bought most of the property around the lake, built a mansion
for himself, turned the club into a very snobbish country club,
and converted the lake community into an expensive, wealthy vacation
retreat. Jimmy has always competed with Tom. In fact, the last
time Tom came to the lake, the Baker family lost the annual Labor
Day family competition to Jimmy's family by one point.
Of course, the stage is set for a rematch. This is complicated
by the fact that the children from each family seem to like each
other. In fact, a couple of them pair off, so the fathers have
to work even harder to coach their teams.
Jimmy is a stern disciplinarian and has turned each one of his
children into over-achievers. Tom and his wife, Kate, superbly
played by Bonnie Hunt, believe in love and listening. Both systems,
of course, are shown to have their weaknesses, but stern discipline
seems to be more reviled here. The good news is that the movie
moves inexorably toward the right answers for everybody's problems.
Some of it is very lightweight, but all of it is very heartfelt.
The laughter elicited from the audience was sincere, and there
are many warm fuzzy moments tugging at the heartstrings.
Steve Martin is terrific in his reprise of his better roles,
Father of the Bride and Cheaper by the Dozen.
Eugene Levy is superb and comes off as the insufferable snob,
Murtaugh, with flying colors. Best of all is Bonnie Hunt. She
is the quintessential mother and wife. Her innuendo, inflection,
compassion, strength, and forbearance all work together to produce
a compelling character.
The movie starts very slow but builds to a heartfelt conclusion.
We've used the word heart several times because it is totally
appropriate. This movie has as big a heart as all the children
portrayed in it.
The problems with the movie sound more important than they really
are when reiterated. One of the annoying jokes in the first one
was the joke about the dog going after the hamburger meat in the
crotch. Regrettably, this joke is repeated twice here. The dog
also goes after a woman in a low cut dress.
That said, practical jokes are chastised, stealing is condemned,
and the bad is not approved. There are pratfalls and budding romances,
but they are very mild compared to many other movies in this category.
The exclamations sound more like exclamations than curses. And,
there is even a Christian Negro spiritual sung by the Murtaugh
family around their campfire.
It should be noted that one studio insider was annoyed by the
scene where the two fathers sneak into the theater to supervise
the romance of their two children. When the boy starts to put
the moves on the girl, Tom complains. Jimmy plays innocent, so
Tom demonstrates what the boy was trying to do. Two women in the
theater are shocked at Tom doing this. Some people in the screening
thought this was a humorous put-down of same-sex behavior. Who
Address Comments To:
Peter Chernin, President/COO
The Fox Group
Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos, Chairmen
Fox Filmed Entertainment
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
A division of Fox, Inc. and News Corp.
10201 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000
NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine.
For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest
Movieguide Magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or
visit our website at www.movieguide.org.
Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood
by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and
by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and
even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year
in and year out. Movieguide now offers an online subscription
to its magazine version, at www.movieguide.org.
The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative
articles and reviews that help parents train their children to
be media-wise consumers.
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