Kenya Barris, Jenifer Rice-Genzuk, Craig Titley
Gabrielle Union, Zach Braff, Erika Christensen
Adventure, Comedy, Family
Rated: PG for thematic elements, suggestive material, and language
All media used courtesy of Disney
On Disney+ now, Cheaper By The Dozen is a reboot of the Steve Martin original starring Zach Braff as a father/chef that creates this incredible sauce, with a desire to make it a new household staple. His wife (Gabrielle Union) are guardians of 12 kids, one being a nephew, and some coming from previous relationships. As the father begins to surround the family with a new house, new neighbors, he’s missing the fact that maybe the upgrades he feels he’s given to the family aren’t so well received. In this family comedy that really struggles to find footing and in the end feels like a mess.
The good is few and far between. I’d love to say that at least the performances by Braff and Union made up for the story but honestly I just could not click into this one. Everything line felt forced, sincerely never felt real and character motivations were tough to believe. The comedy was completely lost on me, and if you’re trying to do a film that originally had one of the greatest SNL comedians of our time? Well, you have to at least make sure the jokes land.
The child performances were… fine. No real standouts, the most time is spent on their troubled angsty nephew, and that just felt really forced. I don’t wanna be rude to this actor because these are ALL young performers and have long careers and don’t need some weird white critic panning them, so I’ll just leave it at that.
If this film can teach us anything, it’s that intention and passion matter with these kinds of remakes. we can’t just shelling out remakes for the namesake and fail at living up to the impression the first one made. Streaming platforms need to take much more care into what they’re putting out rather than how much they can put out. There could have been something special here, but unlike the family sauce, it’s neither hot, sweet, or savory. It’s bland.