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Yours, Mine & Ours
Tough to do a "movie review" when the item on display is barely even a "movie," but I'll give it a go:
Yours, Mine & Ours is one of the most shoddily constructed, pathetically written, and shamelessly contrived expenditures of 81 minutes you'll ever have. Remake of a limp 1961 farce starring Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball, and obviously rushed into production the second that Steve Martin's Cheaper by the Dozen remake went box office platinum, Yours, Mine & Ours is an absolutely mindless and mediocre piece of cinematic swill ... which explains just perfectly how the thing managed to gross over $50 million at the U.S. box office before it was jettisoned to make room for ... yep, Cheaper by the Dozen 2.
One can only assume that likable actors Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo had a few empty months in their respective schedules, so when the call came in for Yours, Mine & Ours, they must have figured "Sure, why not? A lame-o family comedy that'll net me a quick paycheck. Sign me up." So while it's acceptable that an actor's gotta work to keep his family fed ... it's pretty damn humiliating to watch two talented actors wading through dreck this intense.
(Also, you might allow the presence of cast members Rip Torn, David Koechner, Jerry O'Connell, and Danielle Panabaker to trick you into thinking they have something of value to contribute. That would be a wrong thing to do.)
Start plot synopsis: A widow and a widower get wed, resulting in a family unit that now consists of a free-spirited mom, a by-the-book dad, 18 brain-kickingly obnoxious children, and a pig. End plot synopsis. Oh, and four of the little kids are twins. And one's an adopted Vietnamese tot who behaves just like a grown-up homosexual fashion designer. Seriously, folks, the only things missing from this movie are a laugh track and Bob Saget.
Hired to direct this inert piece of flotsam was Mr. Raja Gosnell, the filmmaker who gave you Big Momma's House, Never Been Kissed, and not one but two entire Scooby Doo movies. Frankly I could end the review right here, content that I've told you all I need to about the cheap, chintzy awfulness of Yours, Mine & Ours...
But since I love my job I'll continue.
The Yours, Mine & Ours DVD case is proud to exclaim that the "Film Advisory Board" has labeled the flick "The best family comedy of the year!" This tells me one of two things: Either the "Film Advisory Board" is composed of people directly related to Raja Gosnell, or they neglected to see movies like Ice Princess, Madagascar, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sky High, or the Wallace & Gromit movie. Perhaps they'd have been better off calling the flick "Almost noticably less awful than Cheaper by the Dozen 2!"
Yours, Mine & Ours is a movie with no semblance of sense, logic, conflict, wit, or insight. What the filmmakers would call "light & sweet" is actually a noxious and gratingly insincere feature-length sitcom that'll have you stampeding toward the closest bottle of aspirin. (Or arsenic.) It's not funny in any discernible way, unless you consider the sight of someone slipping on paint the pinnacle of all things hilarious. The thing feels like it was produced on the mega-cheap, with all the money that would normally go towards screenwriters, production design, and a half-decent director already promised to the lead actors, both of whom deserved a huge freakin' payday for appearing in tripe this ripe (or a huge freakin' pay-cut, I can't decide). And frankly I can't imagine the Mom & Dad who'd willingly take their family to visit one this loud, obnoxious, and scream-happy. It'd be like a person who just recently escaped from a serial killer paying money to see Saw 2.
The final "joke" in the movie is that of a large pig eating a wedding cake and belching loudly. Couldn't sum it up any better than that.
Video: Anamorphic widescreen. The primary colors all but ooze off the screen.
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0 English, depending on how loud you want the incessant shrieking to be. Also included is a 5.1 French track, and optional subtitles in English and Spanish.
Here's where the real torture comes in. If there's anything more painful than a movie this empty and worthless, it's a whole stack of extra features that nobody in their right mind would ever subject themselves to. Case in point:
Mr. Gosnell contributes a feature-length audio commentary that I managed to withstand for about 12 minutes. Honestly, if there's any sort of filmmaking insight that he could offer regarding Yours, Mine & Ours then my five years of film studies will have been a complete waste of money. Skipping through Gosnell's sonorous yack-track, I discovered that the director is a huge fan of words like "sweet," "funny," and "mischief." To paraphrase a line from Adam Sandler's only funny movie, I now feel stupider for having listened to this audio commentary.
But wait! There's more!
Inside the Lighthouse is a 16-minute chore of a featurette in which various cast & crew members try to convince you the movie is something it's not. Claims of "romance" and "consequence" crumble into ash as soon as the belching pig and paint-splattered toddlers make their appearance. (One opinion offered within this featurette did make me laugh out loud, I must admit. Says 11-year-old actor Tyler Patrick Jones: "I've worked with Steven Spielberg and ... Brett Ratner ... and Raja's ... really up there.")
18 Kids - One Script: The Writing of Yours, Mine & Ours is 5 minutes of screenwriters Ron Burch (Head Over Heels) & David Kidd (Head Over Heels) explaining the movie we just watched ... as if it's not the cinematic equivalent of warm tap water. Suffice to say numerous movie clips help to pad this section out.
Casting the North Family and Casting the Beardsley Family are a pair of featurettes about how the kids were cnnggghhhhhhh my eyes! this dvd is killing my soul somebody help me!!!
Oh wait, there's even more featurettes. I just drank two bottles of bourbon, so let's keep going.
Your Big Break! - Advice for Aspiring Young Actors features 6 minutes of yammer from kids and casting directors. "Work on your craft," "Go out for school shows," "Have a Mom who plays tennis with a secretary at Paramount," etc.
Setting Sail with the Coast Guard (3m) explains how a movie this awful is still considered good PR for the U.S. Coast Guard, a fact I find rather sadly humorous.
Behind the Scenes Video Diary (8.5m) is a bunch of young actors running around with video cameras. Might prove entertaining to the young actors and/or their parents, but I don't qualify as either.
As if this DVD was created with war criminals in mind, there's also a pair of deleted scenes, two migraine-inducing theatrical trailers, and a bunch of previews for Aeon Flux, Last Holiday, All You've Got, and The Brady Bunch S4 DVDs.
I went into Yours, Mine & Ours expecting it to be broad, limp, and obvious, but since I'm such a huge Dennis Quaid fan, I held out some semblance of hope. It lasted about four minutes. To all the parents out there, I'll simply say this: A 433rd re-watching of Finding Nemo is a better option than this flick. Trust me.