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4.5 out of 5 stars46
4.5 out of 5 stars
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I was rather surprised that I could not warm up to a family comedy that has Bonnie Hunt in it, not to mention Steve Martin and Eugene Levy, but "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" rubbed me the wrong way pretty much from the start. Tom Baker (Martin) and his wife Kate (Hunt) are sending their third oldest child, Lorraine (Hilary Duff), and this is apparently the threshold for Tom to start experiencing something along the lines of "empty nest" syndrome, even with another nine kids at home. So suddenly the most important thing in the world to Dad is for the entire Baker clan to head up to Lake Winnetka for the summer so they can all be together for what might be the last time (pretend like this is a reasonable idea).

This is enough of a hurdle, since forcing people to have a good time does not really work. But when they get up to the lake Tom discovers that Jimmy Murtaugh (Levy), his third wife, Sarina (Carmen Electra), and his eight children are already there. Jimmy has the biggest house on the lake, owns most of the property around the lake, and always wins "the cup" at the friendly family competition each summer. As if not forcing people to have fun is not bad enough, now Tom wants to force his brood to have fun competing against the Murtaughs. Meanwhile the kids from the two families are having fun getting together and doing kid things while their fathers critique each other's abilities and track records as parents. It was really hard to stop cringing when these fathers go off the deep ends like that and even though a lot of what happens here is predictable and you know that everything will work out okay in the end, that does not make what Tom is doing right.

Another problem is that this is a movie that has Hillary Duff and Tom Welling show up again, and then gives them basically nothing to do, because there are now TWENTY children running around in this film, to go with the four adults (hey, that would be the "Dozen 2" they talk about in the title, right?). Of course, that is going to happen when you are talking about a family with a dozen children. Give each one five minutes of screen time and that is an hour of your film right there. But when Martin and Levy trying to outdo each other, that is never going to happen. Piper Perabo as Nora Baker-McNulty gets a bit more to do because she is carrying the first Baker grandchild, but on balance these three had little reason to do the film. In fact they are third level characters.

The first level are the parents and the second level ends up belonging to young Sarah Baker (Alyson Stoner), who is Daddy's little practical joker until she sees young Eliot Murtaugh (Taylor Lautner). However, the two families are making like the Capulets and Montagues, with Tom forbidding the children to play with each other before the big competition. Still, Sarah asks her father if it is okay if she goes to a movie with Eliot and Tom finally remembers what being a father is all about and starts to thaw back into his true self. Duff's big scene in the film is actually to help Sarah get ready for her first date and to read the riot act to the rest of the family right before Sarah has her big moment (If you are my age it is the Eliza Doolittle moment when Audrey Hepburn walks down the stairs for the Embassy Ball right before the intermission of "My Fair Lady," but if you are Sarah's age then it is the Hermoine Granger moment when Emma Watson appears on the steps at Hogswart to attend the Yule Ball in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."

The subplot with Sarah and any time Bonnie Hunt looks at somebody are the best parts of this movie, but it is not enough to make it really enjoyable for me. There are enough problems with having twelve children without creating some for yourself, but that is what this script makes Tom Baker do. Even worse, this is the sort of film where when he gets to the low point and finally realizes how wrong he has been, he gets to have his cake and eat it too. Well, almost, because this is a film that makes him realize not once, but twice, how the importance of family trumps everything else. I would have rounded up on this 2005 family comedy because of Alyson Stoner, but when Tom lhad to learn the obvious lesson a second time I had to reverse course.
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on 22 September 2008
This is a great sequel to the legendary Cheaper by the Dozen! The Baker family, together with Nora (Piper Perabo)'s husband Butt McNulty head off to Lake Winnetka for a summer holiday. They meet up with another family, Jimmy Murtaugh (Eugene Levy) and his 3rd wife Serena (Carmen Electra) and their 8 children. They both enter the Labour Day competition but in the middle of the last race (a canoe race) Nora (Piper Perabo) has to have her baby which means the Bakers lose the Labour Day Cup for the umptenth time against the Murtaughs. But it was worth it, though as the babe was a real cutie! Just a great film for the whole family to watch one evening. Sit down with some popcorn, turn on your TV and experience Steve Martin at his best.

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on 14 July 2008
A humorous film that is enjoyable throughout its duration with interesting characters and a lovely location by a beautiful lake.
The children of two families compete against one another for the sake of their dads who dislike each other a lot.Eugene Levy and Steve Martin are well-suited to their roles as the bickering dads and the very large supporting cast have enough time on screen and enough to say and do to make their roles have an impact.If you want something that's innoffensive to adults and children and packed with wit then this is a film for you.
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on 19 April 2006
this is not just a great movie for kids but a great movie for all the family to enjoy and alyson stoner plays her part brillanitly i must watch.
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on 8 April 2006
This film will give you laughs by the dozen. Steve Martin reprises his role as the Baker da and helps this film excel in being as good as the original. Eugene Levy is great as the competition. The children make this movie complete with a great ensemble. Hilary Duff is less whiney as well and she's maturing which are good signs. This movie is one of the best that I've seen this year
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But a great family film. This time Steve Martin's competitive side gets the better of him on a family vacation when he meets an old 'friend' who now owns most of the lake.

Mayhem ensues as two contrasting styles of parenting are put to the test to see who's best...

Great film. Rent it.
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on 24 November 2013
I liked this film when i saw it in 2005 so i got the blu ray.

The extras are the same as the dvd and quite informative.

The film is funny and heart warming the soundtrack is really good too.
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on 6 April 2006
I saw this film at the cinema and must admit that I enjoyed it immensly. The story revolves around the lives of the Baker family, but, this family is not too normal, they have 12 kids. Hilarity ensues when the Bakers go on a vacation. However the film does have some down points, some of the jokes and humor was used in the first film so is not as funny as it was watching the first film, but i would still recommend this film as a great film to have for an evening at home.
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on 3 October 2011
this is a great family film.we all enjoyed it and thought it was funny,i have a daughter age 19 even she loved it.Cheaper By The Dozen 2 [DVD]
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on 8 April 2006
Ok I know like most people this film got very poor reviews, by media film buffs.
But I loved the first film and this is just as enjoyable as the first film.
It's a fun family friendly film, with heart and huge laughs!
All the original Baker clan actors/actresses are back, which is nice. It wouldn't have felt the same with any different actors in the central family roles. You can tell they love working together the chemistry shows on screen.
This film introduces a new family...The Murtaugh's!
Eugene Levy is perfectly cast as the father figure of this family, with Carmen Electra as his wife (odd choice, but she is good in the role).
I really did enjoy this film and laughed on many occasions.
My recommendation is buy it!
Who knows maybe there will be a 'Cheaper by the Dozen 3'!
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