November 17, 2012

Cheaper by the Dozen

Let it be now known that I absolutely enjoyed watching Cheaper by the Dozen. It was quirky, funny, and chaotic. Sure with 12 kids running around, it'll be impossible for it not to be chaotic; but it was the perfect kind of madness. It brought the laughs and everything I like about comedy films. Sure it's an old movie, but it's a movie I'd still gladly watch over and over again. It's a classic for me but there's just something in the movie that draws me in. In fact, I stayed in a hotel room just to watch the movie when I should have been roaming the city I was in. But you just can't leave when the movie's on.

Cheaper by the Dozen was a 2003 comedy film starring the amazing Steve Martin. But given the title, he wasn't the only star. Here begins the long list of the stars of the movie: Bonnie Hunt, Piper Perabo, Tom Welling, Hilary Duff, Kevin Schmidt, Alyson Stoner, Jacob Smith, Forrest Landis, Liliana Mumy, Morgan York, Blake Woodruff, and Brent and Shane Kinsman. That was the whole Baker family, but the cast also includes Steven Anthony Lawence, Paula Marshall, Alan Ruck, Richard Jenkins and a whole lot more. The movie was directed by Shawn Levy. The film went on to achieve success in the box-office, which led to a sequel; but of that later, and by later I meant another post.

The whole theme of the movie is family, which all of us, in one way or the other, can relate to. This time it's about having a big one and the difficulties, and joys that go along with it. It added an element of deciding whether or not to pursue a career and if it's possible to balance it with a family filled with young children. Steve Martin's Tom Baker was offered his dream job, while Bonnie Hunt's Kate Baker was given the opportunity to finally publish a book. All that and the reality of having 12 kids. Thus began the fun-filled chaotic lives of the Bakers. It presented the pros and cons of having two suddenly career driven parents. All of which led to a fantastic comedy skit.

What I liked most about it was the good-natured comedy it brought to the table. It was clean, most of the time, and it was witty. Steve Martin really led the already amazing ensemble and did a commendable job at it. He's a real leading man in this movie. It also doesn't hurt that he's incredibly funny. Bonnie Hunt was also a perfect fir for Tom's other, and arguably, better half. The duo made a huge part of the movie for me. Another  thing that made me really enjoy the film was how balanced everything was. With that many people in the cast, it's so easy to sideline some of the kids, but that didn't happen. Every Baker kid had their own character to play, had their own story arc, and had sufficient screen time for viewers to take notice of them.

Among the kids, Forrest Landis definitely was a stand-out. Maybe it was because his part of the story was different from the other kids, but he managed to make his scenes count. Unfortunately, according to an article I read, he stopped acting. Maybe we'll see him soon again. Another stand-out was Alyson Stoner, who I didn't even recognize until I saw her name. She looked different, but still had that same charm. Her portrayal of Sarah made me really notice her in the movie. The youngest twins also made the movie fun. Brent and Shane Kinsman helped make this movie appealing and enjoyable. Let's also not forget the grown-ups who were just as awesome as the other kids. Who knew Clark Kent was really a Baker kid?

Cheaper by the Dozen was a good film in my opinion. It's light, fun movie and a perfect feel good movie. The stars made it an anjoyable experience, with the awesome Steve Martin at the lead. I knew critics didn't like it as much, but I'm going to stick to my opinion and say that it's the kind of movie, I'd gladly watch again. Maybe I'm just that easy to please, or maybe the whole gang made me like the movie. Either way, I'm glad I was able to watch it.

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