Cheaper By the Dozen: Review
It’s no secret Disney is surfing down a remake wave. I am already growing tired of The House of Mouse trend, as most of these reimaginings offer meager improvements to their time honored-classics. Most of these remakes only serve as a reason to remember their time-honored counterparts.
Blacklish writer and producer Kenya Barris tries to write the wayward trend with Cheaper by the Dozen. Relegated to a streaming release, the studio’s attempt at re-imaging this remake-of-a-remake feels just as dysfunctional as its titular oversized family.
Barris, co-writer Jenifer Rice-Genzuk Henry, and director Gail Lerner earn points for having their heart in the right place. The trio occasionally wrestles with the modern struggles facing a divorced, mixed-race family, offering a few thoughtfully conceived conversations about factors that often get overlooked. Make no mistake, Cheaper by the Dozen is still a sitcom-esque comedy that delves into familial struggles with a heavy dose of sugary optimism. Fans of the original, or the 2003 remake and its forgettable sequel, may be charmed by the familiar shenanigans.
The good intentions never translated into an enjoyable experience for me. Zach Braff and Gabrielle Union make an agreeable enough pair as the paternal Bakers, yet both stars find themselves stuck in a scattershot comedy that never finds its rhythm. Cheaper by the Dozen overstuffs itself with hackneyed subplots, comedic pratfalls, and sentimental speeches. It’s a tonal blend that drives the film forward without a proper roadmap.
Worst of all, Cheaper by the Dozen lacks heart and originality. The film reassembles its promising premise into a forgettable blip on Disney+’s array of content.