Steve Martin stays in cruise gear as the forgiving, mildly eccentric father of 12 in this lame, ahistoric remake of the 1950 Clifton Webb comedy. Levy directs what amounts to an almost plotless - and entirely pointless - slice of controlled chaos as if it were an expensive pilot for a TV sitcom. In the Baker household, everybody has egg on face; frogs fall into giant breakfast bowls; the hall's a rollerskating rink and talk's a competitive volume sport. Where there's noise, there's life - until, that is, a deafening silence greets Dad's announcement that the brood are to uproot to Chicago for him to take up a new, top-college coaching job. They moan, they move, they rediscover their roller skates. But then Mum (an 'acceptably' sexualised Hunt) goes absent on a promotional book tour. What's this WASP, reactionary, romanticised, reassuringly isolationist pap doing, playing about with pinko feminist nonsense? It's only kidding. What's most offensive about this lazily written and directed advertisement for the sanctity of hearth and home is the absence of any proper passion, characterisation or observation from which to springboard the laughs. Only new dude Kutcher offers any relief from the endless chandelier crashes with his convincing turn as the vain and dumb actor boyfriend of the Bakers' eldest daughter (Perabo).
Cast and crew
Sam Harper, Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow
Piper Perabo Morgan York Tom Welling Alyson Stoner Bonnie Hunt Kevin G Schmidt Hilary Duff Paula Marshall Steve Martin Liliana Mumy Steven Anthony Lawrence Ashton Kutcher Brent Kinsman Forrest Landis Jacob Smith Blake Woodruff