Analysis Reviews

CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN (2003) Still Inspires Laughs

Hey, Plotaholics! It’s Bryan, again, and I want to tell you about something that I did the other day.

I was perusing through Disney+, and I noticed something that really brought a smile to my face, and I couldn’t get my fingers clicking fast enough! Cheaper by the Dozen was available on the new streaming giant!

For the uninitiated, Cheaper by the Dozen is the 2003 family comedy starring comedic legend Steve Martin and the equally legendary Bonnie Hunt as college sweethearts, Tom and Kate Baker, the parents of twelve children played by the following talented cast of young actors and actresses:

  • Piper Perabo as Nora, the oldest
  • Tom Welling (Smallville), as the Bakers oldest son Charlie
  • Hilary Duff (Lizzie Maguire), as Lorraine
  • Kevin Schmidt as Henry
  • Alyson Stoner (Voltron Legendary Defender) as Sarah
  • Jacob Smith as Jake
  • Forrest Landis as Mark
  • Liliana Mumy as Jessica
  • Morgan York as Kim
  • Blake Woodruff as Mike
  • Brent and Shane Kinsman as Kyle and Nigel (the identical twin youngest Baker children).

Tom, a Division Three college football coach, is offered his dream coaching job at his and Kate’s alma mater in Chicago. Unfortunately, the kids aren’t happy about the move. They’ll be leaving everything they know four hours away going to the big city that’s full of snobby bullies that include Sam Winchester himself, Jared Padalecki.

Additionally, Kate’s book on her life being married with twelve kids is being picked up by a major publisher and she is on a book tour! So now Tom has to juggle his new, pressure-filled job of coaching a Division I power conference team, while raising his pack of children, including two teenagers.

The physical comedy and wit from Steve Martin is what you would expect of him because he’s simply an amazing comedic actor. Bonnie Hunt does a great job in everything that she does as well. Usually in films like this, the children are the real stars of the story. Cheaper by the Dozen doesn’t suffer from this. The parents are just as amazing characters as the kids. The kids are cute and amazing characters, no doubt, but Martin and Hunt are the pillars of this film.

There are some aspects of this film that are a bit eye roll-inducing; the Division I football team that doesn’t appear much bigger than a high school basketball team for one is hilarious. I’m pretty sure that Nick Saban doesn’t take his players home to take care of his kids. However, it is a part of the hilarity of the story, that’s for sure.

Despite a few sometimes-frustrating points of contention in the story, here is a film that is simply heartwarming, and if you’re having a crappy day, a miserable day, or if you’re just hanging out because you’re having to self-quarantine from work and you need something to make you smile, this film can do that for you.

Cheaper by the Dozen is available now for streaming on Disney+

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