Cheaper by the Dozen (2003 film)

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Cheaper by the Dozen
Cheaper by the Dozen 2003 film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byShawn Levy
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story byCraig Titley
Based on
Starring
Music byChristophe Beck
CinematographyJonathan Brown
Edited byGeorge Folsey, Jr.
Production
company
Distributed by20th Century Fox[1]
Release date
  • December 25, 2003 (2003-12-25) (United States)
Running time
99 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States[1]
LanguageEnglish
Budget$40 million[2]
Box office$190.2 million[2]

Cheaper by the Dozen is a 2003 American family comedy film directed by Shawn Levy, and stars Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt. It is a remake of the 1950 film of the same name. The film was released on December 25, 2003, by 20th Century Fox and grossed $190.2 million worldwide against a $40 million budget.[2] The Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus criticizes its lack of humor.[3] A sequel, Cheaper by the Dozen 2, was released in the United States on December 21, 2005. Both films were inspired by the real life Gilbreth family and the semi-autobiographical account of their lives as written in Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr. and his sister Ernestine Gilbreth Carey nee Ernestine Moller Gilbreth.

Plot[edit]

Tom Baker is a college football coach in a small town in Midland, Illinois, where he raised twelve children, and his wife, Kate, has written her story in a book and hopes to send it to her friend to publish the book. One day, Tom unexpectedly receives an offer from his old friend and football teammate Shake McGuire to coach at his alma mater in his hometown of Evanston, Illinois. Tom accepts the offer, and demands all the children vote on moving. Despite losing the vote, Tom has the entire family return to Evanston for a better home and space. The atmosphere at the Bakers' new house is tense and the situation at school is even worse.

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 while Kate is away, so he decides to hire the family's oldest child, Nora, and her self-absorbed boyfriend, Hank, to manage the children. When Nora and Hank arrive, the children plan to make Hank the target of their prank by soaking his underwear in meat and assisting the Bakers' pet dog, Gunner, to attack him by biting his buttocks, prompting him to refuse to assist in babysitting. As a result, Nora drives off with Hank, while Tom lectures them for their prank. After Kate departs for her book tour, Tom realizes that he cannot handle the children on his own after a chaotic night. In reply to this revelation, Tom tries to hire a housekeeper, but nobody is willing to work with a family as large as the Bakers, so Tom decides to bring the football players from work into the family's house for game practicing in the living room to prepare for the Saturday night football game as the children perform chores and their household games. However, the children start causing trouble at school and Charlie, the Bakers' oldest son, is removed from the football team. Kate overhears from the children about the chaos and cancels 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 instead.

Despite much coaching from Kate, 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 has died, a heated fight erupts moments before the segment starts, leading the cameramen to call Winfrey to cancel it. Mark runs away from home, prompting the Bakers to find him. Tom indulges a hunch that Mark is trying to run back to the Bakers' old home, and eventually finds Mark on an Amtrak train departing from Chicago to Midland. Reuniting with the rest of their family, the Bakers begin to address their issues with each other, and Tom ultimately resigns from his position at his alma mater with Shake.

Cast[edit]

Bakers[edit]

Others[edit]

The film's director Shawn Levy makes a cameo as a reporter.

Soundtrack[edit]

"Cheaper by the Dozen" Soundtrack
No.TitleWriter(s)Performed byLength
1."I'm Just a Kid"Simple PlanSimple Plan1:24
2."Help!"Lennon–McCartneyFountains Of Wayne1:12
3."In Too Deep"Sum 41Sum 412:46
4."What Christmas Should Be"Hilary DuffHilary Duff3:10
5."Life Is a Highway"Tom CochraneTom Cochrane4:26
6."These Are Days"10,000 Maniacs10,000 Maniacs3:39
7."Rockin' Robin"Leon RenéMichael Jackson2:33
8."Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"Johnny MarksBrenda Lee2:06
Total length:21:16

Other compositions used in the movie are "Classical Gas" by Mason Williams and Carl Orff's "O Fortuna", among others.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 24% approval rating based on reviews from 119 critics and an average score of 4.58/10. The site's consensus reads: "In this family of twelve children, much chaos ensues, but little hilarity."[3] On Metacritic, which determines a normalized rating from mainstream critics, the film received a score of 46 out of 100 based on 30 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[4] Despite initial reactions, the film was given "Two Thumbs Up" from Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper on their television show.

Box office[edit]

The film opened on Christmas Day 2003, and ranked at #2, grossing $27,557,647 in its opening weekend ($35,397,241 including its Thursday Christmas Day gross) and, despite being kept from the top spot by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, went on to gross $190,212,113 worldwide.[2] Ashton Kutcher was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor for his performance in this, Just Married, and My Boss's Daughter.[citation needed]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Association Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Kid's Choice Awards Favorite Male Movie Star Ashton Kutcher Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Blush Hilary Duff Nominated
Choice Breakout Movie Star – Male Tom Welling Nominated
Choice Movie Liplock Piper Perabo & Ashton Kutcher Nominated
Young Artist Awards Best Young Ensemble Cast Cast (under 18) Won
Best Young Actor Age Ten or Younger Forrest Landis Won
Best Young Actress Age Ten or Younger Alyson Stoner Nominated
Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actor Ashton Kutcher Nominated

Home video[edit]

The film was released on VHS and DVD on April 6, 2004.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Cheaper by the Dozen". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  4. ^ "Cheaper by the Dozen". Metacritic. Retrieved September 28, 2017.

External links[edit]