"I truly enjoyed this movie - and wouldn't hesitate to allow some of my young children to see it! There is no foul language, and dating and first crush situations were handled very tastefully - and even with a flair of innocence about them! I happen to be the oldest of 7, my husband is one of 8, and together we have 5 children - so we are very much pro big families. It is very refreshing to see a positive story involving not one, but TWO large families! In this day and age where society pushes the idea that 1 or 2 children makes the perfect family, this movie gives the viewer a fairly accurate glimpse of what life can be like with many more siblings. Of course there will be times of difficulty and disagreements, but there is also plenty of love to go around, and this is the ultimate conclusion of this movie - in BOTH families! There are many lessons to be learned in this film - not the least of which is the need to have a clear vision of what is more important in life. Both fathers in this story are struggling with competitiveness that has become an obsession, but I found it truly moving when Steve Martin's character chooses to forfeit the final tie-breaking event because of the potential risk to his 9-months-pregnant daughter. His was the choice of a true champion, and in the end, both fathers come to recognize that their families are so much more important than winning another trophy! What a truly refreshing message to families and young people who are being bombarded with messages of "me first" and "look out for number one!"
I most certainly do not regret the time and money spent to see this film! If you are tired of all the sex, violence and gore present in so much of today's movie choices, I suggest you give this film a try. It is rare to walk out of a movie theater feeling uplifted, but that is exactly what this film did for me!"
Yeah, it's funny! A movie for most of the family.
scherf.com | Las Vegas, NV USA | 12/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Depending where you at when you watch this flick, but if you're on your ski vacation, then watching this film you'll forget that your snowboard is outside and that it's cold, because the film concerns a family vacation at a lake around labor day. Steve Martin is funny as always and there are a few new lines and ideas. And sure there are a couple of stupid scenes that should have been left out, but not too bad so that your 8-year old can probably still watch it without asking too many questions. Eugene Levy (probably not as well known by his name to too many folks) is excellent and I like him goofing off even more than Martin for the most part. The storyline is about two extended families that apparently had a type of rivalry going on for many years, and now they meet at that particular lake again and on labor day they have a family competition there and so on. While Martin plays the loving Baker dad who's not too well off financially, Levy plays the now wealthy Murtaugh dad who's on his third marriage (with Carmen Elektra as number 3) and who owns most of the land around the lake. The only problem I can see is that much of the fun is predictable, but there are still a number of hearty laughs. It's a relaxing family movie and you just wish that it was summer out there and you too could go for a swim and/or so some water skiing in a lake instead of the apres ski. Well, this movie is an opportunity to take your popcorn and relax during this busy holiday season, and to have some clean fun for the most part."
A surprise sequel with great results!
MollyRK | Chicago | 04/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was basically shocked as all heck when I saw a trailer for this movie on TV over the holidays. Given the modest success of the first film, I was surprised they were going for a sequel. I was even more shocked that the bigger stars like Hilary Duff and Tom Welling returned for this, but somehow the timing was good enough for all fourteen original characters to reprise their roles.
After seeing "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" quite a few times in the theater this Christmas, I have to say that it was very nicely done and certainly outdid the 2003 film.
It's not anything that's going to win an Oscar or be discussed in passing years from now, but then again it wasn't trying to be either of those things. It was released as a clean, lighthearted movie, ideal for a day at the movies with the kids over the holiday break from school, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
Don't get me wrong, I watched the first "Cheaper by the Dozen" in 2003 and liked it well enough. But right off the bat, the one element of this sequel that sets it gloriously apart from the original, and that's the general attitude of the Baker children. Remember how bratty they were three years ago, treating their parents like dirt, treating one another like dirt, and pulling juvenile pranks left and right? Well, now they're a little older, they get along with each other, and they're actually nice to their parents. It makes for a much more relaxing and enjoyable viewing experience with less children screaming and acting up.
The premise for this sequel finds Tom and Kate (played perfectly, once again, by Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt) finding that with their three oldest children stepping out of the nest and the remaining nine becoming more involved in their own activities, it would be a good idea to get the whole family together for one last summer at the lake house. Sounds good....that is, until we meet Jimmy Murtaugh (played quite nicely by Eugene Levy), who has a large family of his own and is determined to strike up another heated competition with his longtime rival Tom Baker.
As I said before, the Baker kids are much more likable this time around, and each are presented differently in the film. First off we have:
Nora, who is now married (not to Ashton Kutcher, haha) and pregnant with her first child. Perabo does a nice job here; she and her husband are funny and sweet to watch together, and Perabo contributes to a very heartwarming final scene at the end of the movie.
Charlie, a college student working to pay off loans and trying hard to please his parents, all while attempting to figure out his "next move" in life. "Smallville" star Tom Welling puts forth a good and modest performance, just as he did in the first film.
Lorraine, whose graduation opens the film and introduces her plan to pursue an internship in New York in the fall. The return of the infamous Hilary Duff is probably the most surprising part of the movie, but it was nice that she came back for this and helped get the sequel made. Her number of scenes are small and spread out, and she seems a bit bored most of the time, but Lorraine has a few nice interactions with younger sister Sarah that help demonstrate Duff's ability to get into character, an especially notable feat with such a large cast.
Henry, Jake, Mark and Mike, the four middle sons, who aren't given much to do in this movie except a few lines here and there.
Sarah, the third-oldest preteen daughter seeking her own independence and developing her first crush on none other than one of Jimmy Murtaugh's sons. Roger Ebert said it, a myriad of other big-time movie reviewers have said it, and I'm not going to deny it: Young actress Alyson Stoner delivers what is arguably the movie's most heartfelt and well-done performance in this role. The scene where she goes out on her first date literally brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it, and even though the storyline about a tomboy plunging head-first into adolescence and finding her very first crush is nothing new, it is still something that practically every woman can relate to. It's a somewhat cliched character analysis, yes, but Stoner plays it so sweetly and with such youthful innocence, she absolutely makes the entire movie. This actress really comes into her own with this role, and I genuinely hope to see more from her in the future.
Twin daughters Jessica and Kim, too, don't have much of a personal storyline to play off of, but actresses Liliana Mumy and Morgan York do well enough with what they are given. The only thing I'd have to say about them is that the writers clearly tried way too hard to give them witty lines and funny things to say in unison (e.g. "Lay off, Dad!" and "We agree to participate!") and in the end it didn't quite work. The little girls playing the parts are cute, though, especially the red-headed Liliana Mumy. She's another one with a distinctively expressive personality and cute face that could land her roles in other movies.
The two youngest Baker kids, identical twins Kyle and Nigel, probably stand right behind Alyson Stoner as the next best thing about the movie. Those are the same adorable faces you see on the television series "Desperate Housewives," and even though they don't have much to do in this film either, they melt your heart whenever they come onto the screen.
Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt do a terrific job in their scenes, as well; both of them seem custom-made for the roles as nurturing parents, and they work very well together as on-screen husband and wife. With all the chaotic events going on with the kids, the two of them portray a very special lesson for viewers with the amazing love that they still have for one another. Eugene Levy and Carmen Electra round out the main cast, both playing their roles with humor and ease, and all in all this is a nice movie that handles its overwhelming cast much better this time around. The 12 kids were basically a train wreck in the first movie, running around and getting into all sorts of trouble, but now they are more fleshed out and established in the plot. It is funny, appealing, and yes, even touching, all while outdoing the original 2003 film and remaining more than ideal for parents to enjoy with their children.
Better Than The Original
Darena Dorsey | The South, USA | 05/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A touching, heartwarming movie about family bonding with good clean comedy throughout.
The Baker's dozen are back with some interesting interaction with another large family. Rilvary and some love connections are the result.
My family and I enjoyed Cheaper by the Dozen but this sequel is even more entertaining. Fun for the whole family."
Darena Dorsey | 07/06/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I thought the message of the story was terrible. What I thought was really lame was that Sarah went from a tomboy to a little Lorraine, and just after her mother got done telling her to be herself and that she is beautiful the way she is she rewards her for putting makeup on to impress a boy. This implies that she wasn't beautiful before, and on top of it she said it was Sarah's "first date", which I thought was ridiculous! For crying out loud, she couldn't have been older than 12!
Also, there weren't many funny parts in it; kind of predictable."