1½ stars (out of four)
In a universe that contains "Cheaper by the Dozen" (and soon, "Cheaper by the Dozen 2"), do we really need another remake about supersize families wreaking havoc and rattling the sanity of their parents?
According to the four studios that backed a retread version of "Yours, Mine & Ours" and ignored Dick Van Patten's advice that "Eight Is Enough" yes, we do.
Actually, no, we don't.
Though Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo winningly revise roles originated by Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball in 1968, there's not much for them do to.
As Frank and Helen, the pair play former high school sweethearts who reunite and marry after the deaths of their spouses.
Problem No. 1: She has 10 kids (biological and adopted). He has 8 (biological).
Problem No. 2: Her kids are free-spirited, artistic types. His are a product of military discipline (Frank is a high-ranking U.S. Coast Guard officer).
Problem No. 3: The kids clash, hate one another and then unite to break up the new lovers, thereby restoring their old lives. Think of it as a reverse "Parent Trap," only with more schmaltzy life lessons than a full season of "7th Heaven" and half the charm.
Directed by Raja Gosnell, "Yours, Mine & Ours" isn't so much a movie as it is scene after scene of Quaid getting pelted with paint, food and other associated goo. But even as slapstick, it's a major snoozefest. Never has kiddie rebellion felt so predictable (watch as they destroy the house!), so uninspired (woo-hoo, clandestine kegger!).
The kids themselves (18, count 'em) barely get enough screen time to carve out much personality, so we don't care about their plight, or their antics.
By the second time Quaid wipes the goop from his eyes, you're praying for an episode of TV's "Eight Is Enough" even the 1987 reunion movie for a palate cleanser.
'Yours, Mine & Ours'
Directed by Raja Gosnell; screenplay Ron Burch and David Kidd; photographed by Theo van de Sande; production designed by Linda DeScenna; music by Christophe Beck ; edited by Stephen A. Rotter and Bruce Green; produced by Robert Simonds and Michael Nathanson. A Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies and Columbia Pictures release; opens Wednesday. Running time: 1:28. MPAA rating: PG for some mild crude humor.
Frank Beardsley - Dennis Quaid
Helen North - Rene Russo
The Commandant - Rip Torn
Mrs. Munion - Linda Hunt