out of Five
Running time: 88
Dismal comedy (yet another remake) that contains precisely one laugh. Avoid.
What’s it all about?
Dennis Quaid stars as Admiral Frank Beardsley, a widower with eight kids who likes to run a tight ship when it comes to matters of discipline and order. When he attends his high school reunion he rekindles his relationship with his old sweetheart, free-spirited Helen North (Rene Russo), herself a widow with ten kids (some of whom are adopted).
The two get married straight away and when they move all 18 kids into a single house, all hell breaks loose. While the kids scheme to split up their parents, Frank has to adjust to the fact that Helen thrives on chaos.
You know you’re in trouble when even the trailer doesn’t contain any laughs. This is a disaster from beginning to end – the script relies entirely on the kids causing havoc and Frank ending up covered in paint/goo/whatever’s handy, to the point where you feel desperately sorry for Quaid; whatever they were paying him couldn’t possibly have been enough.
Aside from anything else, the film is really badly written and the scriptwriters don’t even bother giving personalities to half of the children. Similarly, as soon as the kids get together and decide to split up their parents, they immediately start to get along with each other.
Quaid and Russo do their best with the dialogue-by-numbers script but it isn’t enough. The film also criminally wastes the great Rip Torn as Quaid’s boss.
In short, no. If you feel you simply have to see a comedy about a large combined family then rent The Brady Bunch Movie instead.
Yours, Mine and Ours (U)