Cheaper by the Dozen (2003 film)
|Cheaper by the Dozen|
|Directed by||Shawn Levy|
|Produced by||Robert Simonds
|Screenplay by||Sam Harper
|Story by||Craig Titley|
|Based on||Cheaper by the Dozen
by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr.
Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
|Narrated by||Bonnie Hunt|
|Music by||Christophe Beck|
|Editing by||George Folsey, Jr.|
|Studio||Robert Simonds Productions|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||98 minutes|
Cheaper by the Dozen is a 2003 American family comedy film about a family with twelve children. The film takes its title from the biography of the same name by Frank Bunker Gilbreth and Lillian Moller Gilbreth, but other than the title and the concept of a family with twelve children, the film bears no resemblance to the book nor its original film adaption, although it is mentioned that the mother's maiden name is Gilbreth. The film was directed by Shawn Levy, produced by Robert Simonds, narrated by Bonnie Hunt, and starring Steve Martin. The film was released on December 25, 2003 by 20th Century Fox, ultimately grossing nearly $190 million worldwide. 
Kate Baker (Bonnie Hunt) narrates her story about her large family: her husband, Tom (Steve Martin) is a football coach at a small rural college in Midland, Indiana, where he raised twelve children. Kate has written her story in a book and hopes to send it to her best friend, an investor to publish the book. Life at the Midland house is almost perfect for the Bakers until Tom unexpectedly receives an offer from his old friend and football teammate, Shake McGuire (Richard Jenkins) to coach at his alma mater in his hometown of Evanston, Illinois. Since Tom was raised in Evanston and the football team he accepts the offer disappoints the younger children. Tom demands the younger children to move, but despite losing it, he has the entire family to return to Evanston for a better home and space. The family's second child, Charlie (Tom Welling), refuses to leave his girlfriend, Beth (Tiffany Dupont), and the others simply don't want to leave their friends and home. Despite being given a fancy white mansion as a home by Shake for their move, the atmosphere at the Bakers' new house, which is absolutely huge, is tense and the situation at school is even worse. In general, the younger children are harassed at school. Charlie is taunted for being a "country boy", while the family's sixth and seventh children, Jake and Mark (Jacob Smith and Forrest Landis) are consistently antagonized by a bully named Quinn (Cody Linley), the twins of the bunch Nigel and Kyle (Brent and Shane Kinsman) begin to cause trouble at school and the Bakers' new neighbours, Tina and Bill Shenk (Paula Marshall and Alan Ruck) are very over-protective of their son and only child, Dylan (Steven Anthony Lawrence) and does not want him to play with the younger kids.
When her book is ready to pick up for publication, Kate is required to do a national book tour to promote it. Tom thinks that he can handle everything in the family's household without Kate, so he decides to hire the family's oldest child, Nora (Piper Perabo) and her self-absorbed boyfriend, Hank (Ashton Kutcher) to manage the younger children. However, Hank is reluctant since the younger children have attacked him earlier by setting his pants on fire, but he agrees after falling under Nora's begs. When Nora and Hank arrive, the younger children plan to make Hank the target of their latest antagonistic prank by soaking his underwear in meat and letting the family's pet dog, Gunner attack Hank by chewing his bottom, prompting him to refuse to assist in baby-sitting. As a result, Nora is angry and disappointed at the younger children and drives off with Hank, while Tom berates the younger children for their prank. After Kate departs for the book tour, Tom realizes that he cannot handle the younger children on his own after a chaotic night where the house becomes a rampaging stampede during the chores they perform. In reply to this revelation, Tom attempt to hire a housekeeper, but nobody is willing to work with a family as large as the Bakers, so Tom decides to kill two birds with one stone by bringing all of the football players from work into the family's house for game practicing in the living room as the kids perform chores and their household games. Meanwhile, the younger children burst in fury and stand up against the bullies by fighting them, and when the principal tells Tom about the incident between the younger children and the bullies, Tom grounds the younger children from any fun and games. However, the younger children unexpectedly sneak out of the house to Dylan's birthday party and begin causing chaos. While Tom is teaching the football players how to win and participate for the Saturday night football game, they notice the younger children crashing Dylan's birthday party and decide to investigate. After capturing all the kids, Tom attempt to capture the family's sixth child, Sarah (Alyson Stoner), whom the kids look up to in their disobedience as their leader and eventually finds her in the bounce house. Tom attempt to grab Sarah, but his weight added with the weight of Sarah and the other party members is too much for the bounce house and explodes. Tom accidentally falls on Dylan, in which Tina forbids the younger children from playing with Dylan and Shake warns Tom not to bring all the football players to his house anymore.
Meanwhile, Kate hears from the younger children about the chaos and is forced to cancel the book tour to take charge of the situation. Kate's publisher decides to create an additional promotion for her book by inviting Oprah Winfrey to tape a segment about the Bakers in their home. Despite much coaching from Kate, and Kate being furious at Tom for not telling her that he could not handle it, the Bakers are not able to demonstrate the loving, strongly bonded family that Kate described in her book. When Mark becomes upset that his pet frog, Beans, has died, in which Sarah rudely tells him that nobody cares, a heated fight erupts before the segment starts, leading the cameramen to call Winfrey to cancel the segment. As a result of the fight, Mark feels unwanted and runs away from home, prompting the Bakers to hold their search party to find him. Meanwhile, Nora breaks up with Hank when he is more focused with watching himself on television and helps, gets the police involved and their close friends, Dylan, and Bill to join in the search for Mark. However, the Bakers cannot find Mark until Tom indulges a hunch that Mark is attempting to run back to the family's old home from the beginning of the film, and eventually finds Mark on a train departing from Chicago to Midland. Reuniting with the rest of the family, the Bakers realize that they have not been a close family and they begin to address their issues with each other. Tom ultimately resigns from his position at his alma mater and settles for a less time-consuming job. The film ends with Kate's narration explaining that the Bakers are closer as a result of their experiences and Tom's decision to love his family more than his job.
Cast and characters 
The Bakers 
- Steve Martin as Tom Baker, patriarch of the Baker family and the main protagonist of the film. Tom sacrificed his dream of coaching at a big school to fulfill his dream of raising a large family. He eventually gets his dream job of coaching, but eventually resigns after realizing he is missing out on his younger children's lives.
- Bonnie Hunt as Kate Baker, matriarch of the Baker family and the narrator of the film. The loss of a sister in childhood inspired Kate to have a large family. She sacrificed a dream of being a sports journalist to become a stay-at-home mom. Kate grew up wishing she had a larger family, like Tom. She later quickly becomes used to the lifestyle of a professional book writer, but ultimately misses her family and abandons her new career after publishing her book which becomes a best seller.
- Piper Perabo as Nora Baker, age 22, the oldest Baker child. Nora lives on her own with her boyfriend, Hank. Nora hates the fact that her younger siblings interfere with her personal life with Hank, as they always pull pranks on him because they see him as a jerk. She later realizes they were right about him when he doesn't seem to care about Mark after he runs away.
- Tom Welling as Charlie Baker, age 17, the second Baker child. The move to Evanston is especially taxing on Charlie, as all of his memories were in Midland. In school he is called a "farm kid", his colleagues keep filling his locker with vegetables to mock his farm background, he is mocked on the high school football team and put in defense despite him being a quarterback all his football career, and his anger against his school leads him to often skip it. In return his school lowers his grades, his father cannot help him due to his job and only when Charlie is kicked off the football team does his parents realize how much he is suffering.
- Hilary Duff as Lorraine Baker, age 16, the third Baker child. Lorraine loves glamour and aspires to be a "fashion guru" and hates getting Nora's hand-me-downs. She is closest to Sarah, her polar opposite, though they tend to argue frequently.
- Kevin Schmidt as Henry Baker, age 12, the fourth Baker child. Henry looks up to Charlie more than anyone else in the family. He prefers to play the clarinet and is the most musical member of the family.
- Alyson Stoner as Sarah Baker, age 11, the fifth Baker child. Sarah describes herself as a master prankster, but her pranks sometimes tend to get out of control. She is tomboyish and enjoys vigorous team sports.
- Jacob Smith as Jake Baker, age 10, the sixth Baker child. Jake enjoys skateboarding and is closest to Sarah and Mike.
- Forrest Landis as Mark Baker, age 9, the seventh Baker child. Mark is often teased by his siblings because of his red hair and glasses. He has an affinity for pets, most notably a pet frog named Beans, who is Mark's constant companion and only confidante. His attempted escapade back to the family's old home in Midland is what inspires the family to become closer.
- Liliana Mumy and Morgan York as Jessica and Kim Baker, ages 7, are fraternal twin girls. Jessica and Kim are the eighth and ninth Baker children. They are the smartest in the family, although their intellect goes largely unnoticed. They are frequently involved in Sarah's pranks and are close to each other.
- Blake Woodruff as Mike Baker, age 6, the tenth Baker child. Mike was born due to a night of drinking for his parents. He is closest to brother Jake, and spends most of his time with the older children. He enjoys skateboarding, hockey, and performing potentially dangerous physical stunts, such as hanging down the laundry shoot.
- Brent and Shane Kinsman as Kyle and Nigel Baker, ages 5, identical twin boys and the youngest Baker children. Kyle and Nigel look up to all of their older siblings, and enjoy frequently taking part in Sarah's pranks.
- Steven Anthony Lawrence as Dylan Shenk. Dylan is friendly towards the Bakers and wonders why he did not have siblings. He got injured by Tom after the younger Baker children unexpectedly sneaked out of the house and crashed his birthday party while they were being grounded from any fun and games. He also help the Bakers to find Mark, who was unwanted and ran away from home.
- Paula Marshall as Tina Shenk, Dylan's over-protective mother who hates the younger Baker children. Tina is generally hostile towards the Bakers. She appears to believe that the Bakers have too many children.
- Alan Ruck as Bill Shenk, Dylan's father who is far kinder than Tina and actually likes the Bakers. In a few scenes in the movie, Bill makes subtle hints that he wanted more children, unlike Tina who wanted "one perfect child".
- Richard Jenkins as Shake McGuire, Tom's old friend and football teammate who is now the director of the football program at the university. Shake was the one who offered the coaching job to Tom, prompting the Bakers move to Evanston for a better home and space despite the protests of their younger children.
- Ashton Kutcher as Hank, Nora's self-absorbed boyfriend.
- Tiffany Dupont as Beth, Charlie's girlfriend.
- Cody Linley as Quinn, a school bully who picks on Mark and the other younger children.
- Jared Padalecki as an unnamed bully who picks on Charlie for being the new kid in town and a "hick".
- Dax Shepard as a member of the camera crew.
- Regis Philbin as Himself.
- Kelly Ripa as Herself.
- Frank Welker as Gunner (voice), the Bakers' pet dog.
A sequel, Cheaper by the Dozen 2, was released in the United States on December 21, 2005.
|This section requires expansion. (April 2013)|
|"Cheaper by the Dozen" Soundtrack|
|1.||"I'm Just a Kid"||1:24|
|3.||"In Too Deep"||2:46|
|4.||"What Christmas Should Be"||3:10|
|5.||"Life Is a Highway"|
|6.||"These Are Days"|
|8.||"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"|
Awards and nominations 
Cheaper by the Dozen has been nominated and won several awards. The following is a list of these:
|Result||Type of award||Category||Year|
|Nominated||Teen Choice Award||Choice movie blush (Hilary Duff), Choice breakout movie star (male) (Tom Welling), Choice movie liplock||2004|
|Won||Young artist award||Best Ensemble Cast|
|Nominated||Best performance in feature film (Alyson Stoner and Forrest Landis)|
Critical reception 
The film received mostly negative reviews from film critics, with 23% of critics giving a positive review and an average score of 4.6 out of 10 according Rotten Tomatoes, based on 112 reviews. Despite initial reactions, the film was given "Two Thumbs Up" from Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper on their television show, and became a box office hit. The film opened at #2 raking in $27,557,647 USD in its first opening weekend and, despite being knocked off the top spot the following week by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, went on to gross $190,212,113 worldwide.
- Archive of Official Website
- Cheaper by the Dozen at the Internet Movie Database
- Cheaper by the Dozen at Rotten Tomatoes
- Cheaper by the Dozen at AllRovi
- Movie stills