: A Disney+ Original movie, "Cheaper by the Dozen" is a reimagining of the 2003 hit family comedy. It is the story of the raucous exploits of a blended family of 12, the Bakers, as they navigate a hectic home life while simultaneously managing their family business.


Cheaper by the Dozen (2022) is the third time the 1948 semi-autographical novel of the same name is adapted to the screen. After the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney, it’s time for the latter to dig out wholesome, family-friendly franchises (remember Home Alone?) and rework them for Disney+.

This reboot stars Zach Braff as a small-time restaurant owner, Paul Baker who along with his current wife, Zoey (Gabrielle Union) has altogether nine kids from their past marriages and current one. Paul’s first wife, Kate (Erika Christensen) remains on friendly terms with them and continues to help out in their household as their nanny while Zoey’s ultra-successful first husband, Dom (Timon Kyle Durret) drops by here and then with lavish presents.

When Paul’s breakfast sauce and restaurant business starts to expand, the big family decides to move to a gated community only to encounter tensions from their children. And with Paul’s frequent absence from the family given his commitment to his growing business, Zoey starts to wonder if they had actually made the right decision.

Even for a sitcom pilot or TV movie, the entire production feels cheap and rushed. All thanks to the many TV-like subplots and setups, the premise feels kind of bloated, ambitious and runs longer than the 2003’s Steve Martin version. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that the movie’s director and writers helmed mainly from a TV background.

Still, the plotting is enjoyable if you love a harmless family comedy (plus having a low expectation level). This 2022 version is occasionally funny and attempts to stir up some social awareness and questions liked Dom trying to take full custody of his kids because he is against a white man raising his black kids, Pauls’ adopted Indian son who faces racial bullying in school and as if there’s not enough trouble brewing in the Baker family, Paul’s troubled nephew who came from a broken family.

In addition, we have teenager DJ who is nerdy and finding hard to approach girls while his sister, Deja is embarking on her first relationship with a boy. There are so many stories crammed into one feature that none of the characters are fully developed by the end of it. Fortunately, Zach Braff and Gabrielle Union are believable and charming as the interracial couple. Without resorting to slapstick and gross-out gags, it’s largely a safe viewing experience for the entire family. Maybe the filmmakers should at least rope in Steve Martin, Ashton Kutcher, Tom Welling and Hilary Duff for cameos to stir up some excitement.


Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Comedy/Drama
Starring: Zach Braff, Gabrielle Union, Erika Christensen, Timon Kyle Durrett, Journee Brown, Kylie Rogers, Andre Robinson, Caylee Blosenski, Aryan Simhadri, Leo A. Perry, Mykal-Michelle Harris, Christian Cote, Sebastian Cote, Luke Prael, Brittany Daniel, Cynthia Daniel
Director: Gail Lerner
Rating: PG
Year Made: 2022



Languages: English
Subtitles: English
Running Time: 1 hr 47 mins