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Yours, Mine and Ours Has its Charms

Dec. 8, 2005 –– If your idea of fun is watching someone else raising 18 kids under one roof, by all means rush out to see Yours, Mine and Ours .
However, if that's not your cup of tea, or if the classic Cheaper by the Dozen is enough to hold you for this lifetime, then stop in your tracks.
Cheaper by the Dozen, this ain't. A remake was made of that last year, which got lukewarm reviews. The truth of the matter is that the 1950 movie's glittering, grumpy star, Clifton Webb, was one of a kind; he cannot be replaced.
Then again, Yours, Mine and Ours has its charms the critics, some reluctantly, admit. Dennis Quaid's Frank is a ramrod, and Renne Russo's Helen's is an earth mother, yet the chemistry's there, says Ty Burr in the Boston Globe, and for awhile Quaid and Russo give off a lovely middle-age heat. Then the plot kicks in.
Directed by Raja Gosnell –– it's a step up from the Scooby-Doo movies — the film's ostensibly a remake of the 1968 Henry Fonda-Lucille Ball comedy of the same name, which itself was pleasant but no great shakes, says Burr.
The plot, such as it is summed up by Yahoo Movies: Frank Beardsley, a widower with eight children, runs into his high school sweetheart, Helen North, and it's as if thirty years never passed! Helen, also a widow with ten kids of her own that include the six she and her husband had adopted, feels the attraction as well. It's no wonder they rush into marriage without telling their kids. True love can conquer all. Right?
Well, that's giving true love a run for its money, for sure. The 18 kids don't get too much stage time in the hour and a half movie, but they make it clear that the new home has become a war zone. Frank likes everything shipshape. Helen is comfortable with a certain messiness. His kids line up for roll call and mess duty. Her kids are free spirits with a touch of hippie. Her family has a pig for a pet, Burr says.
You get the idea. Chaos reigns, but the lovable families will sort it out.
"Quaid and Russo are pros," Burr says, "and they're immensely likable, even when navigating the trite dialogue of the breakup scenes. Anyway, your children won't care about the old fogies, since the younger cast is made up of faces they know from the WB and Nickelodeon: Drake Bell and Miranda Cosgrove from, Drake and Josh, Miki Ishikawa of Zoey 101, Dean Collins from Jack and Bobby.
So, pack up the kiddies, grab lots of goodies to munch on, and do a little pre-Christmas relaxing with a family (hopefully) more chaotic than yours.
Rip Torn, Linda Hunt and Jerry O' Connell also star in the movie which is rated PG for some mild, crude humor. (Maybe the kids set off cherry bombs in the toilet?)

It is playing at Sunny Isle Theaters.

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