Cheaper by the Dozen Preview

Alright, well we are cruising through our Now a Major Motion Picture cycle and I’m loving it. Getting into a groove on finishing these books. This week we’re doing a movie that I really didn’t know was based on a book. Cheaper by the Dozen starring Steve Martin. Apparently it’s based on a memoir of a prominent engineering duo who had 12 children and were pretty quirky. They made a 1950 movie out of it and then remade it in 2003. A pleasant surprise was that the book is only 200 pages long, so I’m already done with it and moving onto the next book. Seemingly takes place in Chicago, so not an addition for the map (but what really is at this point). Let’s go!

Cheaper by the Dozen (2003) – BMeTric: 39.7

CheaperbytheDozen_BMeT

CheaperbytheDozen_RV

(This graph says: this film is mediocre and we know it is mediocre through and through. Still, too high of a rating to be truly amazing. The BMeTric is all popularity, it is a mediocre-popular film.)

Leonard Maltin – 3 stars –  Martin and Hunt are happy, harried parents of 12 kids until a major move and career changes (a football coaching job at his alma mater for him, an extended book-promotion tour for her) throw the family asunder. Cute family comedy, with predictable slapstick moments, is strengthened by Martin and Hunt’s performances as genuinely loving parents. Although officially a remake, it has nothing to do with the 1950 film or the book that inspired it. Ashton Kutcher appears unbilled. Followed by a sequel.

(Whaaaaa? 3 Stars, Leonard? This rating got me and Patrick discussing about what other films we’ve watched that Leonard gave 3 stars. The last one? Welcome to Mooseport. Isn’t that the most appropriate duo? Cheaper by the Dozen and Welcome to Mooseport. They’re Old Dad Movies and Leonard loves it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b44tHAFX8JQ

(Oh no. I am not feeling that. And that has nothing to do with the book. I guess I’ll just have to sit back and enjoy some classic Steve Martin antics. He certainly seems to give it his all.)

Directors – Shawn Levy – (Known For: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; This Is Where I Leave You; Real Steel; Night at the Museum; Date Night; Night at the Museum 2; Big Fat Liar; Future BMT: Just Married; The Pink Panther; The Internship; BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: Graduated from Yale at the age of 20. Directed Steve Martin in two remakes: this and The Pink Panther.)

Writers – Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey (novel) (as Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr.) – (BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: They were the writers of the original book and two of the real life children the story is based on.)

Craig Titley (screen story) – (Known For: Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief; Future BMT: Scooby-Doo; See Spot Run; BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: He was taught guitar at the age of 11 by Didjits founder Rick Sims and played in bands with several of the members of that group.)

Sam Harper (screenplay) – (Known For: Rio; Open Season; Future BMT: Just Married; Rookie of the Year; BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: Son of a notable ad man, he actually worked as the editor of the advertising industry trade publication Advertising Age.)

Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow (screenplay) – (Known For: Toy Story; Future BMT: Daddy Day Camp; Garfield; Garfield 2; Evan Almighty; Money Talks; Goodbye Lover; BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: Writing partners. Nominated for an Oscar for the Toy Story screenplay.)

Actors – Steve Martin – (Known For: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk; Home; The Prince of Egypt; Little Shop of Horrors; Parenthood; Planes, Trains & Automobiles; Father of the Bride; It’s Complicated; ¡Three Amigos!; The Jerk; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; The Man with Two Brains; Looney Tunes: Back in Action; Roxanne; Baby Mama; The Big Year; Bowfinger; The Muppet Movie; Father of the Bride Part II; My Blue Heaven; Future BMT: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; The Pink Panther; The Pink Panther 2; The Out-of-Towners; Bringing Down the House; Mixed Nuts; Sgt. Bilko; Christmas with the Coopers; Novocaine; HouseSitter; BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Cheaper by the Dozen; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actor for The Pink Panther 2 in 2010; Notes: World famous comedian and bluegrass banjo player.)

Bonnie Hunt – (Known For: Cars 3; Zootropolis; The Green Mile; Cars; Jumanji; Toy Story 3; Monsters, Inc.; Jerry Maguire; Rain Man; A Bug’s Life; Monsters University; Only You; Dave; Return to Me; I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With; Loggerheads; Future BMT: Beethoven’s 2nd; Beethoven; Cars 2; Kissing a Fool; Getting Away with Murder; Now and Then; BMT: Random Hearts; Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: She was in Second City with Mike Myers.)

Hilary Duff – (Known For: The Lizzie McGuire Movie; Playing by Heart; Flock of Dudes; Human Nature; Provinces of Night; Future BMT: Agent Cody Banks; The Perfect Man; War, Inc.; A Cinderella Story; Raise Your Voice; Stay Cool; BMT: Material Girls; Cheaper by the Dozen 2; Cheaper by the Dozen; What Goes Up; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress in 2005 for A Cinderella Story, and Raise Your Voice; in 2006 for Cheaper by the Dozen 2, and The Perfect Man; and in 2007 for Material Girls; and Nominated for Worst Screen Couple for Material Girls in 2007; Notes: Famous singer turned actor, and has her own Barbie Doll)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / Domestic: $138,614,544 (Worldwide: $190,212,113)

(A huge box office hit. Kinda surprised by that, but 2003 was a more innocent time. Enough to get a sequel though, and for a comedy that is an impressive take.)

#5 for the Comedy – Fish-Out-of-Water Father genre

cheaperbythedozen_daddyfishoutofwater

(You probably wouldn’t get the top two (Despicable Me 1&2) but after that you get a couple classics (Three Men and a Baby and Big Daddy) before hitting this one. For those curious, there are 37 major releases under that category. The lowest grossing? Another classic: Dutch. Right after the big boom in the subgenre which is all but dead.)

#5 for the Family – Remake genre

cheaperbythedozen_familyremake

(It had a resurgence last year, and will continue with the new Jungle Book and the sequel to the one last year. again, this came early in a resurgence of the subgenre, which then basically died off. Remakes always come in waves. Around other smash hits like Doctor Dolittle)

#3 for the Comedy Remake genre

cheaperbythedozen_comedyremake

(Remakes. Come. In. Waves. Last year’s big hit was … gulp … Ghostbusters. I have a feeling Hollywood is prepping its new IP source. At some point they’ll mine the 90s for anything that could do with a good remaking and see if that holds. I would watch Hook … maybe.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 24% (28/118): In this family of twelve children, much chaos ensues, but little hilarity.

(I got nothing to work with in this consensus. I give this RT consensus 1/4 stars.)

Poster – Skloger by the Dozen (C-)

cheaper_by_the_dozen_xlg

(That is horrific. Holy lord, that is an awful poster. I hate the mostly white, terrible coloring. It really ruins everything about this. The good thing is that the wallet ploy is actually a pretty clever way of getting the whole cast on the poster. Boosts the final score a bit.)

Tagline(s) – This Christmas the more… the scarier! (F)

(I always go with the tagline on the poster as the official one, which in this case is too bad. It’s straight awful. But trust me, none of the other ones were any good either.)

Keyword(s) – new job; Top Ten by BMeTric: 75.6 Look Who’s Talking Now (1993); 75.4 Look Who’s Talking Too (1990); 72.8 Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003); 71.2 Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (2011); 67.9 Superman III (1983); 60.2 Underdog (2007); 58.3 Deck the Halls (2006); 52.8 Blonde Ambition (2007); 52.2 Lay the Favorite (2012); 51.6 Just My Luck (2006);

(What is this keyword? Ridiculous. We will watch Look Who’s Talking Now and Too at some point I would think. Maybe as a one-two combo for animal actors. Otherwise this is a terrible marathon and I hate it.)

Notes – Mel Gibson was considered for the role of Tom Baker. (whaaaaaaa?)

Although this film is based on that same book that inspired the 1950 film (Cheaper by the Dozen (1950)), the only element it retains from the original is the idea of there being 12 children in one family. Even the names of the characters are changed. (well I guess it won’t be important that we read the book then)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Ashton Kutcher)

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