Movie Review: Cheaper by the Dozen * A Modern Twist On The Original Film – more diverse cast, current issues, new adventures and craziness
The raucous exploits of a blended family of 12, the Bakers, as they navigate a hectic home life while simultaneously managing their family business. Paul and Zoey Baker are a married couple at the head of a large blended family in this reboot of the 1950 original film. Together, they parent ten kids – some of which each brought into the marriage, some they have together. They also bring their ex-spouses into the mix, including flighty part-time babysitter Kate and wealthy former pro-baller Dom. Paul is White; Zoey is Black; their kids are White, Black, or mixed race — a blend that offers its own challenges in today’s culture. When the Bakers are offered a substantial sum of money to launch a line of sauces and franchise their breakfast place, they take the money and upgrade their lives, but their new lifestyle makes some things more complicated than expected.
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tiana S. comments, “Hilarious, chaotic family fun is headed your way as the Bakers return in this highly-anticipated reboot of Cheaper by the Dozen. The film is a modern twist on the original, with a more diverse cast, relatable characters, current world issues, new family adventures and craziness.” See her full review below.
Cheaper by the Dozen
By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Hilarious, chaotic family fun is headed your way as the Bakers return in this highly-anticipated reboot of Cheaper by the Dozen. The film is a modern twist on the original, with a more diverse cast, relatable characters, current world issues, new family adventures and craziness. No matter your age, gender, or race you are sure to find someone you can connect to.
Cheaper by the Dozen is a reboot of the 2001 film of the same name, featuring the Bakers who are a family of 12. It follows parents, Zoe Baker (Gabrielle Union) and Paul Baker (Zach Braff), as they try to balance home life, taking care of their blended multiracial, talented family all while running the family business. Zach is faced with trying to expand the family business and still make time for his family, while Zoe deals with racism in their new neighborhood and constant criticism for having 12 children. It’s an all-around struggle of understanding, accepting change, and family.
One of the biggest differences with this reboot is the diverse cast. It really shows how people from all backgrounds can co-exist. The premise of the show is similar to the original, but with a twist: Mr. Baker has an opportunity to expand on the family restaurant, and Zoe stays home to manage the family and the chaos while he travels. All of which leads to plenty of hilarious scenes. I love the updates in the film, especially some of the references such as the Black Lives Matter sign in the window of the first Baker house. Even the dogs’ names, ‘Bark Obama’ and ‘Joe Bitten’ are creative. My favorite scene from this film is when Seth Baker (Luke Prael) helps his cousin Haresh Baker (Aryan Simhadri) by teaching him skills to avoid getting bullied at school. It’s great to see how the family comes together to support each other.
The message of Cheaper by the Dozen is that change can be difficult, and everyone will react to it differently even to the point where it causes issues among family members. But we must accept that we are all different and need to work together to be successful and truly happy in life. The Bakers are the perfect example of how people so different from each other are still able to live and work together. The only things for parents to look out for are short scenes where the parents are intimate, mentions of serious topic like racism and some mentions of ‘teenager’ issues.
I give Cheaper by the Dozen 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids ages 10 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Cheaper by the Dozen on Disney+ starting March 18, 2022.
KEYWORDS: Gail Lerner, Kenya Barris, Jenifer Rice-Genzuk Henry, Frank B. Gilbreth Jr., Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, Kenya Barris, Gabrielle Union, Zach Braff, Erika Christensen, Timon Kyle Durrett