Cheaper by the Dozen 2
The charm of 2003’s Cheaper by the Dozen is completely lost in the rough and tumble world of slapstick that is Cheaper 2. Director Adam Shankman—choreographer of 29 projects in the last dozen years—has made a purely physical comedy that’s not all that funny. Pa and Ma Baker (Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt) still have 12 kids, and are learning to let go of the three oldest (Piper Perabo, Tom Welling, and the busted Hilary Duff with veneers), who have grown up and plan to move far away. Sooo, everyone hits the old family cabin for one last family vacation. Old rival Jimmy Murtaugh (Eugene Levy) has a compound across the lake where he and third wife Sarina (Carmen Electra) are trying to raise the perfect brood. All the kids play nice together, the dads put up their dukes and fall into the lake a million times, and the moms know best. But Duff still can’t play a girl her own age without sucking. Kids are gonna love this movie; parents should skip it and not taint the Steve Martin Shopgirl memory. Sigh.