By: Amanda Guarragi
There is truly nothing more important than family and family is whoever you want it to be. The new Cheaper by the Dozen shows a completely different family dynamic that involves two sets of divorced parents living cohesively and trying to make it all work. Of course, we were all apprehensive about this remake because of how much we loved the 2003 film, but Kenya Barris and Jenifer Rice-Genzuk Henry revamped the story and made it more relatable. They created this blended family, who are all experiencing change in their own way, under one roof with Zoey (Gabrielle Union) and Paul Baker (Zach Braff) leading the way.
The dynamic between Zoey and Paul Baker is what held this movie together. Their strength as parents and as individuals really helped when their children needed them. The reason why this was such an enjoyable family movie is because of how well Barris and Henry had a great balance between tough life lessons and humour. Paul Baker is one of the goofiest onscreen dads and Zach Braff’s comedic timing was on point. His line delivery had me howling in certain moments because of how unexpected those lines were. Zoey on the other hand was this cool mom who kept it fun, but also kept everyone in line. Gabrielle Union brought such a different maternal energy into the fold and put so much of herself into Zoey.
Braff and Union surprisingly had solid chemistry and worked really well together. They felt very natural together as if they have been raising these kids the whole time. Like all big families, there are always issues and important discussions to be had. There are moments in this film that highlight different experiences for each member of the Baker family, including microaggressions, racial profiling, and white privilege. These moments were scattered throughout and explained extremely well for everyone to understand. It’s important to share these conversations with all ages because they are able to absorb this information in order to be more inclusive in their everyday life.
Cheaper by the Dozen is an updated version of the 2003 film with a well-needed upgrade on the Baker family for a new generation. It’s funny, chaotic, and has wonderful life lessons that will resonate with more than one age group. It’s the family comedy we didn’t know we needed at this very moment and it’s coming to Disney Plus this Friday! Whether you’re a parent, teenager, or a child watching this movie, it’s educational for the whole family and the dad jokes never stop. Blending two families together and trying understand each of their needs is really what this movie is all about. Sometimes we all get lost in what we want that we fail to see what is right in front of us.