Cheaper by the Dozen

"Growing pains? They've got twelve of them!"

A family comedy from 2003, staring Bonnie Hunt and Steve Martin star as Kate and Tom Baker. They play the parents of twelve children who all but one live at home. Bonnie Hunt narrates the film as Kate Baker and tells the story of the trials and tribulations of raising such a large family. The story starts with Tom Baker getting an opportunity to become the head football coach of his alma mater. The problem is that the job is located in Evanston, Illinois and the family has to relocate. Each member of the household has their own troubles with the move. Some of the younger children are bullied at their new school and have trouble making new friends.

Things get even crazier when Kate gets an opportunity to have her book published and she needs to leave home to go on a promotional tour. Kate and Tom hire their oldest daughter, Nora and her self indulgent boyfriend, Hank to move in and help raise the kids during Kate’s absence. This doesn’t go so well and the children hilariously target Hank as the victim of their pranks. When Nora and Hank leave, Tom must get creative with his baby sitter options.

At one point he even relocates his team’s football practice to the family home. The next door neighbors, the Shenks, are the over protective parents of an only child. The Shenks struggle living next to the large family and don’t like their son playing with the Baker Children. This leads to a bounce house disaster at a surprise birthday party for the Shenks’ son Dylan. The chaos continues and the death of a pet frog results in Kate having a botched television interview at her home. When one of the children runs away from home, the family must all band together to find him. The film is filled with slapstick humor, but also contains some heart and sincerity while delving into the sometimes strained relationships.

Piper Perabo and Ashton Kutcher co-star as Nora and Hank. The cast also includes Tom Welling as the second Baker child Charlie. Charlie seemed struggle the most with the move. He’s treated as an outcast and is removed from the football team. Other members of the cast include Alan Ruck and Paula Marshall as the Shenks.

PG
| 2003 | 1 hr 38 min | 5.8/10
Cast
Studio
Director
Shawn Levy
Language
English
Cheaper by the Dozen
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