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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 19.19%
Just Average: 17.17%
Pretty Crappy: 22.22%
Sucks: 17.17%

5 reviews, 69 user ratings

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Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)
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by Kevin Thomas

"I don't know why, but I liked it..."
3 stars

Iíve learnt a number of lessons from this movie; mainly that cinemas full of kids should be avoided at all costs/carefully targeted with sticky-seeking missiles, but also that itís ok to put aside all your cynical film-buff predispositions every once in a while.

I shall hang my head in shame and admit that I paid to see this movie for the plain and simple reason that it would mean seeing Hilary Duff (who plays the second eldest daughter, and is how you would imagine Lizzie McGuire to be if she was permanently on her period) on a really big screen, but was amazed when I actually started enjoying the rest of the movie.

Steve Martin is the father of 12 children (and his second name is Baker, geddit? Bakerís dozen? Wait, thatís thirteen. Ah well, whoís counting?) whoís life of organised chaos is transformed when he is offered the coaching job of a lifetime. The only snag is that it would mean moving the whole family to Chicago, and thus disrupting 12 little intricate webs of friends and partners. Unsurprisingly, none of the kids seem desperately enthusiastic, and so the capers begin.

The family themselves seem to exist in three separate sections. Thereís the parents, the eldest three children, and then the rest of the brood. The parents spend their whole time being exhausted for one reason or another, the eldest just skulk about making wry (or irritating) observations and the rest come up with amusing plans to mess with whatever they donít like; be it moving house or Ashton Kutcher (who stealthily sneaks in one of the best performances of the movie as the self-obsessed model-cum-actor boyfriend of the eldest daughter).

After having a good couple of chuckles at the hyper-organisation of the earlier sections of the story (which I assume is there to give the part of your brain that looks for Ďsubtletyí and Ďsophisticationí time to shut down), Martin then has to look after all eleven Bakers (one has moved out) on his own when his wife goes off to promote her new book (Cheaper by the Dozen). Then itís all madcap action until the schmaltz-coated ending. And I mean schmaltzy, to the point where it is almost too saccharine to swallow without wincing. But hey, itís a kids movie about the importance of family, so it was always going to be hard to avoid.

I was amazed at how often I was laughing out loud. Not just under my breath, or just mentally acknowledging that it was funny without actually uttering a sound, but properly laughing out loud. Though it is almost entirely devoid of Toy Story-esque sly nods to the parents, the gags are still funny enough for both kid and parent to have a good olí chuckle.

Hardly going to win an oscar, even less likely to develop some kind of cult following or be heralded as some kind of hidden comedy gem, but itís still a good laugh for the hour and a half that itís on.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8419&reviewer=368
originally posted: 05/17/04 10:02:21
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User Comments

12/04/11 Pamela White Remake not near as funny or endearing as the origional 3 stars
4/27/08 Totir Alexandru This was a very good comedy. I laughed a lot. 4 stars
12/29/06 Kati Truly one of the worst films ever concieved, enjoyed only by tweenies and idiots 1 stars
10/24/06 Drew G I could only hope the original was better 1 stars
10/16/06 Tiffany funny, loved this movie. Haven't seen the original. 5 stars
10/08/06 isis funny but kinda borin... 3 stars
10/02/06 Alfred Guy Well . . . my kids like it. I found it a bit lame. 3 stars
9/30/06 michael pretty fair 3 stars
9/28/06 David Pollastrini had nothing to do with the original 4 stars
8/22/06 Joe This, like "Are We There Yet?", makes me never want to have any kids, let alone 12 of 'em. 1 stars
4/28/06 sahm Terrible ending. Dad gives up dream for bratty kids. 2 stars
4/07/06 Frank Rountree A good film for watching with your family 3 stars
3/27/06 Brian Meyer The "too many kids" thing went out with "The Little Rascals". The T.V. Show. 1 stars
2/05/06 Anthony Feor A very good family film 4 stars
9/17/05 tony The Best film ever! 5 stars
8/17/05 ES Are we really supposed to believe that a set of parents with 12 kids looks that good? 2 stars
7/07/05 Katelyn it was a very good movie 4 stars
5/28/05 Jake Unrealistic garbage! All the kids are steryotypical Brats! Terrible! 1 stars
5/08/05 aery totally ausome 5 stars
4/27/05 Dan Pretty good 4 stars
2/21/05 xxplosive You know what your going to get with this movie, and it is good to watch with kids. 3 stars
1/29/05 gina Good family movie. Especially to teach a valuable point! 5 stars
12/16/04 Brent I will never watch another Steve Martin movie ever again 1 stars
11/01/04 NATASHA I thougth this film deserved 4 stras it was witty modern classsic comedy with quite a few b 5 stars
9/13/04 Cobretti A group of selfish, bratty kids combined with slapstick nonsense and zero laughs. AVOID!!! 1 stars
8/03/04 Katie This movie is good, and the cast is great! I love the little twins, they're SO cute! 4 stars
5/31/04 Nobody Does not deserve title;is nothing like book. Duff is evil. 2 stars
5/19/04 Jorge The family have 12 kid and just with dad,while the mother leave.Briliant! 2 stars
5/19/04 Samuel If your older than 10 you wont enjoy it. 1 stars
5/17/04 Idiot's Mouth Yet another movie that requires complete stupidity in order to work. Crap! 1 stars
5/15/04 Jenny Tullwartz C'mon, EricDSnider, gimme fart humor over dog-almost-bites-off-genitalia "humor" any day! 3 stars
5/12/04 David Very charming and heartwarming, and funny as well. 5 stars
5/04/04 Zonia Duenas This movie is the best I just love all the actors 5 stars
5/01/04 Natasha Caminero I loved it and I love you Jacob Smith 5 stars
4/29/04 jessica it's one of the best movies i've seen. my friends all love it too. 5 stars
4/24/04 Carla hilarious, few round characters, but how could you manage that with 12 main characters? 5 stars
4/18/04 Don't want fart humor, Eric? Gimme a break! It's got the fabulous Hilary Duff! 'Twould be awesome if she farted! 3 stars
4/17/04 Jake I Hate Hillary Duff so very much, and Steve Martin should be very ashmed of himeslf 1 stars
4/17/04 Gobsmack It's KA-RAZY! But it's not at all FUH-UNNY! Martin can do so much better. 1 stars
4/13/04 Chris I thought it was one of the best family films ever! Bonnie Hunt is so great, watch her show 5 stars
3/25/04 Alfred Guy OK. But isn't Steve Martin trying too hard? 3 stars
3/23/04 Harlan Since it is about the Baker family, shouldn't there be a Baker's dozen? 4 stars
3/22/04 So you didn't like Hilary Duff's performance, Eric? Even so, Hilary's such a sight for sore eyes, I'll forgive her for almost anything! 4 stars
3/21/04 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne C'mon, EricDSnider, give me fart humor over dog-almost-bites-off-genitalia humor any day! 3 stars
3/20/04 Jenny Tullwartz (I the F_CK write some of them) Can't decide between being comedy or morality play; comedy parts often good. 4 stars
3/10/04 thejames Who the F_CK writes these other comments?? 1 stars
3/07/04 movieguy a great film 5 stars
1/26/04 emily it was way funnt and i would go and see it again anytime 5 stars
1/19/04 Brian Herrick this movie sucks if your not into the inmature slapstick type humor. Poor steve martin. 1 stars
1/19/04 Jordan Booth and kate Fox We think that the movie is really great! By the way where did Alyson get the frog hat? 5 stars
1/19/04 ayley Its cool 5 stars
1/18/04 Kitty B. i luv steve martin!!! 5 stars
1/14/04 Betty White Like an episode of "The Brady Bunch"....only worse. 1 stars
1/11/04 Ashley Crider It Was Asome I Like Hilary Duff 5 stars
1/10/04 Lauren Jake on the film is sooo darn cute! 5 stars
1/10/04 Natalie Salata It was great. But it could have been better. 4 stars
1/09/04 Mark H-V Hillary did so good as her character 5 stars
1/08/04 maniac magge that move was de bomb 5 stars
1/07/04 kick ass of dont come home hilary duff is britney spears lezbian lover 1 stars
1/05/04 monica a good film 4 stars
1/03/04 Aurelia this movie was really funny!! piper rocks!! www.piperabo.com 5 stars
1/02/04 Nick Perhaps the worst movie I had seen in a long time. Why did I HATE it? a dozon reasons 1 stars
12/30/03 movieboy Good Movie thought it was Funny wouldn't have been as good though without Bonnie Hunt 4 stars
12/29/03 I saw it Come on, buster! Why are you so uptight? What were you expecting, "King Lear?" Hysterical. 3 stars
12/27/03 robin sooooooo good!!! 5 stars
12/27/03 Boombah Baby Lame remake with nothing new on offer 1 stars
12/26/03 Two-G - horror_blood2 (aka Double G) (1 G) Hillary make me horny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/24/03 Secondcousinofbonnie This is a well-acted and wittily written movie (but I am a tad biased) 5 stars
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  25-Dec-2003 (PG)
  DVD: 06-Apr-2004



Directed by
  Shawn Levy

Written by
  Craig Titley
  Sam Harper

  Steve Martin
  Bonnie Hunt
  Ashton Kutcher
  Hilary Duff
  Piper Perabo
  Missy Elliott

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