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"CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN"
(2003) (Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Minor Heavy Mild None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy Minor Minor None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None Moderate Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A husband and wife try to balance their burgeoning careers and their family of twelve kids when they move to a new town.
PLOT:
Tom (STEVE MARTIN) and Kate Baker (BONNIE HUNT) live in the small town of Midland where Tom is the successful Division III college football coach and Kate is trying her hand at writing a book. When they're not doing that, they're trying to raise their twelve kids as best they can. The oldest, Nora (PIPER PERABO) has already moved out and in with Hank (ASHTON KUTCHER) a self-absorbed TV commercial actor boyfriend.

The next oldest, Charlie (TOM WELLING) and Lorraine (HILARY DUFF), are high schoolers who aren't particularly enamored with living with the rest of their siblings. They include Jake (JACOB SMITH), Sarah (ALYSON STONER), Kevin (KEVIN G. SCHMIDT), Kim (MORGAN YORK), Jessica (LILIANA MUMY), Mike (BLAKE WOODRUFF) and twins Nigel and Kyle (BRENT & SHANE KINSMAN). Then there's Mark (FORREST LANDIS), the one Baker who's so unlike the others that his siblings call him "Fedex" since they claim he was delivered rather than born into their family.

When Tom's friend Shake Maguire (RICHARD JENKINS) offers him the prestigious job of coaching at their old college, he and Kate realize he can't pass on the opportunity. Accordingly, the kids reluctantly pack up their belongings and move to a new home in a new city.

With Kate's new book suddenly taking off and Tom being so busy with coaching, the family unity begins to suffer. From that point on, the parents must decide how to balance their professional and family responsibilities.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Since it has a bunch of kids of various ages in various roles, it might be enticing to some kids in different age brackets.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For language and some thematic elements.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • STEVE MARTIN plays the father of the large family who takes a lucrative coaching job only to find it and Kate's new schedule wreaking havoc on their family. He tries to keep the kids and household in line while she's gone until he eventually has to make a tough choice between career and family.
  • BONNIE HUNT plays his wife, the mother of 12 who tries to balance her burgeoning career as an author with raising all of those kids.
  • TOM WELLING plays the second oldest child who doesn't get along with his dad, a sore point only exacerbated by them moving to a new town where other students make fun of him and his car.
  • PIPER PERABO plays the oldest daughter who's moved in with her boyfriend Hank and tries to help the family when she can.
  • ASHTON KUTCHER plays her live-in boyfriend who's a self-absorbed TV commercial actor who doesn't like kids.
  • HILARY DUFF plays a teenager preoccupied with her clothing status in the family.
  • JACOB SMITH and ALYSON STONER play two of the middle kids who are playful troublemakers.
  • FORREST LANDIS is one of the younger kids who doesn't think he fits in (partially because his siblings tell him that) and thus runs away from home.
  • BRENT & SHANE KINSMAN play the youngest kids, two mischievous twins.
  • KEVIN G. SCHMIDT, MORGAN YORK, LILIANA MUMY and BLAKE WOODRUFF play the rest of the kids in the family.
  • RICHARD JENKINS plays Tom's old friend who gets him a prestigious coaching job but then becomes upset when Tom's family issues seem to distract him from his duties.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a quick look at the content found in this PG-rated comedy. Profanity consists of a possible slang term for male genitals, while a handful of other expletives and various colorful phrases are uttered. Some non-explicit, sexually related dialogue is present (including talk about an unmarried couple living and sleeping together, and vasectomies). It's implied that the couple sleeps together and we see them and her parents briefly and playfully fooling around in separate scenes.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, including some of the kids regarding their family life and moving (leading to some tense family moments including a child running away). All sorts of potentially imitative behavior occurs, two kids vomit and several characters drink. Violence includes some struggling with others and other such contact, while some slapstick style material (people falling, etc.) is also present.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • There's a flashback to a champagne toast at Tom and Kate's wedding.
  • We see a montage of Kate recounting their children arriving in their lives. During this, she comments on too many beers and she and Tom then having another kid.
  • Kate and a friend have martinis as part of a montage of other scenes.
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks at a birthday party.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We hear one of the boys vomit in the kitchen. Another boy sees that, also vomits, and then slips and lands in the vomit (which we see on the floor behind him).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Charlie tells his dad, "Did I mention I don't like you much?" That only gets worse when they move to a new town.
  • Some of Mark's brothers and sisters aren't nice to him (in various scenes) and call him "FedEx" (since they say the FedEx man delivered him to their home since he doesn't fit in).
  • The kids are not happy when they learn that the family is moving, and some have momentary bouts of bad attitudes. Among them is Charlie who tells his parents, "Thanks for ruining my life."
  • Tina, a new neighbor, looks down on the Bakers when they move in.
  • Some men (presumably the high school football coaches) are demeaning to Charlie to his face, and to Tom behind his back.
  • Hank (Nora's live-in boyfriend) is full of himself and self-centered after appearing in just one TV commercial.
  • The younger kids plot against Hank and devise and execute a complicated plan to make him leave (and cause him some pain in the process).
  • Some older high school students make fun of Charlie and his old car.
  • Some young punks pick on Mark, purposefully running into him, throwing his glasses to the floor and pulling his hat down over his eyes.
  • The same older high school students continue to have bad and condescending attitudes toward Charlie, nearly leading to a physical confrontation between him and one of the punks.
  • Some kids have put corn on the cob in Charlie's locker as a mean spirited joke.
  • The young twins throw things at their teacher.
  • The kids disobey their father's grounding of them and sneak out to attend a birthday party.
  • Hank is more concerned with his TV commercial airing than in helping find Mark who's run away from home. Similarly, Tina, an adult neighbor, isn't terribly concerned, doesn't want to help and makes a sarcastic comment about the situation.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • A neighbor kid skates toward a banister and then accidentally flips over it, and then grabs a hold of the chandelier in the two-story foyer. Tom tries to rescue him, but then ends up slipping and also holding onto the chandelier. After spinning around a bit, the boy jumps down and is caught, but the chandelier then pulls from the ceiling and it and Tom crash to the floor (he's okay, and the entire scene is played for comedy/light adventure and not true suspense).
  • The same older high school students continue to have bad and condescending attitudes toward Charlie, nearly leading to a physical confrontation between him and one of the punks.
  • A birthday present box falls over, unleashing a snake that causes a panic at the party (played for laughs).
  • Mark's pet frog dies and he's very upset about that (could be upsetting for young kids who have pets or have lost them recently).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Doorknob" (what a kid calls Hank), "Nice move, FedEx" (the kids call Mark that since they say the FedEx man delivered him to their home since he doesn't fit in), "Chill or be chilled," "You're getting old and ugly," "Panzy," "No idea what that means" (what a kid says in a flippant way), "He is a wiener," "Sounds wicked boring," "Moron," "Barbie" (what a sibling calls Lorraine), "Coooool" (said in an elongated fashion), "Butch," "That totally sucks," "Classic," "Suckier," "Release the hound," "Take it like a man," "Vomit mop," "Go, all the way to podunk," "Loser," "That sucks," "You turned into a jerk," "What a wiener," "Jeez," "Chief," "Screw up" and "You idiot."
  • When an athletic cup accidentally lands in some pasta sauce, Tom calls it "pasta de la crotch."
  • Some of the younger kids spill an entire enormous bag of dog food onto the floor (which gets laughs).
  • Kate tells one of her kids that show and tell at school does not include body parts.
  • Kate throws pieces of toast to all of the kids for breakfast.
  • After realizing that Kate was checking him out, Tom jokes that 12 kids later, he and Kate "still have the heat" (and does a goofy little dance). As she turns and walks away, she lifts the bottom of her top and shakes her clothed rear.
  • Some of the kids lower a brother down what appears to be a laundry chute to hear what their parents are talking about.
  • Some young kids in the neighborhood are dressed like hip-hop rappers.
  • Lorraine wears a midriff revealing top, as does Nora as well as a miscellaneous young woman (in separate scenes).
  • One of the kids slides down the banister.
  • The kids play field hockey inside the house and zip around on inline skates.
  • We hear talk that the kids set fire to Hank's pants sometime in the past.
  • In a game called "apple smear," Tom hits apples with a tennis racket, causing them to shred into many pieces and pulp.
  • The younger kids plot against Hank. The first effort involves using a garden hose to trip him into a baby pool filled with dirty looking water. They then later remove his underwear from the dryer and put it into a bucket full of raw hamburger meat. Later, when he has them on under his clothes, they release the pet dog that immediately runs over to him with its nose at his clothed crotch under the table. It then somehow twists him to the floor and then bites at his butt as he lies face-down (and causes him some pain).
  • We see one kid rappelling down the outside of the house, while another skateboards inside it.
  • One of the girls runs around with a bucket stuck on her head (that a sibling jammed on there) and then runs into a ladder, causing a worker to fall to the floor.
  • Some kids have put corn on the cob in Charlie's locker as a mean spirited joke.
  • The kids climb down a rope to escape from the house.
  • A man tells Tom (about Kate getting her way), "Sounds like somebody got his Jimmy whipped."
  • The young twins do an exaggerated muscle man pose (flexing their arms and grimacing).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A chandelier suddenly drops to the floor on its own.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A little bit of comedy-based, suspense music plays in a few scenes.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 possible slang term for male genitals ("Jimmy"), 1 damn (and another possible one), 5 uses of "Oh my God" and a bleeped out "G-damn" in the outtakes at the end.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see a montage of Kate recounting their children arriving in their lives. During this, she comments on too many beers and she and Tom then having another kid (as we see her under a sheet and he appears to be clothed -- presumably after sex). Later, she comments on them not realizing it takes a few weeks for a vasectomy to take effect, thus resulting in twins (we briefly see Tom lying down in a gown as a doctor with a scalpel approaches, but we don't see any nudity or surgery as the scene ends before that).
  • Tom complains that when they told Nora that she and Hank couldn't "sleep together," they moved in together.
  • After realizing that Kate was checking him out, Tom jokes that 12 kids later, he and Kate "still have the heat" (and does a goofy little dance). As she turns and walks away, she lifts the bottom of her top and shakes her clothed rear.
  • When Kate tells their new neighbors they have 12 kids, Tom jokingly chimes in, "I couldn't keep her off me."
  • Tom playfully gets on top of Kate (both are clothed) on their bed and in front of Lorraine. She's embarrassed/mortified and then asks if they can wait until she's gone. Tom jokingly asks if she can hurry.
  • Hank states that if he and Nora are going to baby-sit the kids, they're going to sleep in the same room.
  • Hank and Nora do some passionate kissing in front of her parents (until the latter interrupt them).
  • Hank asks Tom and Kate, "Are you popping out another one (child) anytime soon."
  • When an athletic cup accidentally lands in some pasta sauce, Tom calls it "pasta de la crotch."
  • A man tells Tom (about Kate getting her way), "Sounds like somebody got his Jimmy whipped."
  • Hank sneaks into the house and although the scene ends there, we later hear/see that he and Nora slept together.
  • Tina, a neighbor, shows some cleavage.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Kate mentions in voice over narration that her only sister died at a young age.
  • The kids are not happy when they learn that the family is moving, and some have momentary bouts of bad attitudes. Among them is Charlie who tells his parents, "Thanks for ruining my life."
  • Lorraine states about her father, "At least we get to see him on TV."
  • The kids become increasingly disappointed that their father has less and less time for them.
  • Charlie is so upset that he tells his father that he's dropping out of school and moving back to Midland. When Tom asks about their family, Charlie replies, "What family?" He then says that everyone is just looking out for themselves and that the move was only about Tom.
  • Some of the kids see their parents bickering (they agree he'll sleep on the sofa) and one asks if they're going to get a divorce.
  • The family learns that Mark has run away from home and all pull together to find him.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Growing up in big families.
  • Vasectomies.
  • Tom complains that when they told Nora that she and Hank couldn't "sleep together," they moved in together.
  • Moving to a new home.
  • Career vs. family goals.
  • Some of the kids see their parents bickering (they agree he'll sleep on the sofa) and one asks if they're going to get a divorce.
  • The family learns that Mark has run away from home and all pull together to find him.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Played for laughs, Tom slips on some eggs on the floor and then crashes down to it (he's okay). Moments later, Mark accidentally breaks things on a shelf with the end of a pole.
  • Similarly, some of the kids lower a brother down what appears to be a laundry chute to hear what their parents are talking about. They then accidentally drop him down that chute, but he's okay.
  • Tom and a chandelier crash to a floor (after trying to rescue a neighbor boy who's hanging from it).
  • The younger kids plot against Hank. The first man involves using a garden hose to trip him into a baby pool filled with dirty looking water. They then later remove his underwear from the dryer and put it into a bucket full of raw hamburger meat. Later, when he has them on under his clothes, they release the pet dog that immediately runs over to him with its nose at his clothed crotch under the table. It then somehow twists him to the floor and then bites at his butt as he lies face-down (and causes him some pain).
  • Some young punks pick on Mark, purposefully running into him, throwing his glasses to the floor and pulling his hat down over his eyes.
  • We hear one of the boys vomit in the kitchen. Another boy sees that, also vomits, and then slips and lands in the vomit (which we see on the floor behind him).
  • One of the girls runs around with a bucket stuck on her head (that a sibling jammed on there) and then runs into a ladder, causing a worker to fall to the floor.
  • One of the girls has her arms wrapped around a brother's neck as he runs through the house.
  • A dart accidentally lands in Tom's shoe and moments later, a hatchet blade comes through a closet door.
  • Some of Mark's siblings confront, grab and wrestle with the young punks who earlier picked on them.
  • The young twins throw things at their teacher.
  • As a "moon bounce" attraction over-inflates, it eventually pops and sends various kids flying through the air (college football players catch them). Tom is also sent flying through the air and he then lands on a neighbor kid (we don't see the impact, but do see the boy in the hospital, although he thinks all of that made it the best birthday party ever).
  • The young twins hit each other with signs.
  • A worker falls from a ladder onto the floor and we then see his point of view as the chandelier he was working on falls on him.
  • Some of the kids briefly struggle with each other.
  • Nora whacks Hank for being a jerk.



  • Reviewed November 28, 2003 / Posted December 25, 2003

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