Review: ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’ Reboot Is Bit of a Sitcom, Bit of a Movie but Enjoyable | Entertainment

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Kylie Rogers as Ella, Luke Prael as Seth, Caylee Blosenski as Harley, Sebastian Cote as Bronx, Gabrielle Union as Zoey Baker, Mykal-Michelle Harris as Luna, Christian Cote as Bailey, Aryan Simhadri as Haresh, Andre Robinson as DJ, Journee Brown as Deja, Leo Abelo Perry as Luca and Zach Braff as Paul Baker on the set of CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN from 20th Century Studios, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All rights reserved.




It’s a bit like a movie. Kind of like a sitcom. Not really either. But her sweet emotions and modern sensibility end up making her endearing.

It seems that the objective of the revival of Cheaper by the dozen, a classic white bread Disney family comedy from 1950 and 2003, was to make it more topical and multi-grain. Certainly, the casting testifies to this ambition.

Zoey (Gabrielle Union, TV The best of LA) and Paul Baker (Zach Braff, TV Scrubs) owns Bakers’ Breakfast, a restaurant that serves the first meal of the day all day. Both are divorced and bring their mixed offspring into their new lives.







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Sebastian Cote as Bronx, Andre Robinson as DJ, Luke Prael as Seth, Aryan Simhadri as Haresh, Gabrielle Union as Zoey Baker, Zach Braff as Paul Baker, Journee Brown as Deja, Kylie Rogers as Ella, Caylee Blosenski as Harley, Mykal-Michelle Harris as Luna and Christian Cote as Bailey in CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN from 20th Century Studios, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Merrick Morton. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All rights reserved.




Zoey has a basketball-loving teenage daughter, Deja (Journee Brown), and a young son DJ (Andre Robinson) by her ex-husband Dom (Timon Kyle Durrett), a wealthy successful basketball player. Paul brings his daughters, Ella (Kylie Rogers), wheelchair-bound Harley (Caylee Blosenski), and adopted Southeast Asian son Haresh (Aryan Simhadri) into the clan.

After the wedding bells, the couple produced two sets of mixed-race twins: rambunctious Luca and Luna (Leo Abelo Perry and Mykal-Michelle Harris) and cute Bailey and Bronx (Christian and Sebastian Cote). After taking in Paul’s teenage nephew, Seth (Luke Prael), who comes from a broken home, that’s a dozen bakers.

The lively family resides in the multi-ethnic neighborhood of Echo Park in central Los Angeles, northwest of bustling Downtown, west of the hip/bohemian neighborhood of Silver Lake, and east of the historic Chinatown. Childcare, an ever-present concern, is helped by Paul’s giddy ex-wife, Kate (Erika Christensen).

Money is another issue, which is resolved as the couple develops their business. Its success earns them tons of money, projects them into a higher socio-economic group and a suburban neighborhood. Issues of culture shock and changing family values ​​threaten their happiness.







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Gabrielle Union as Zoey Baker and Zach Braff as Paul Baker in CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN from 20th Century Studios, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Merrick Morton. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All rights reserved.




The script, by Kenya Barris (Blackish) & Jenifer Rice-Genzuk Henry (Blackish) does not aim higher than it should. It defines the eclectic characters way too much at first, with overexposure and overstatement of the backstory. As the film progresses, the narrative gives the family members life’s dramas to resolve. Fun, fast-paced dialogue in a quick delivery makes them comedic and engaging.

The storyline brings up some of the social, racial, and class issues that mixed and multiracial families face. However, it noticeably avoids the LGBQT conversations kids are having these days. Is it to protect the Disney PG brand? A fear of being too real? Debate among yourselves.







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Christian Cote as Bailey, Gabrielle Union as Zoey Baker and Sebastian Cote as Bronx in 20th Century Studios’ CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN. Photo by Merrick Morton. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All rights reserved.




The pace of laughs and schticks is such that TV sitcom audiences may wonder why this is a 1h 47m streaming movie and not a series. Granted, it’s not up to theatrical release standards. In Netflix’s hands, the material would be split into hour-long episodes, stretched over a season, and delve into today’s issues with greater depth.

Hopefully in a way that wouldn’t confuse kids or anger adults, but still get the job done. Imagine if Deja’s hoop dreams, DJ’s stint in goth culture, Harley’s experiences as a physically handicapped teenager, Seth’s juvenile delinquent behavior, and Haresh’s encounters with bullying came to pass. that they are well developed with proper character arcs. Kids, tweens, and teens could get addicted. And the parents too. What’s on display is relevant, but all too safe at a time when families are looking for expert advice as they navigate an ever-changing world.







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Journee Brown as Deja, Leo Abelo Perry as Luca, Kylie Rogers as Ella, Gabrielle Union as Zoey Baker, Zach Braff as Paul Baker, Sebastian Cote as Bronx, Andre Robinson as DJ, Aryan Simhadri as Haresh and Mykal-Michelle Harris as Luna in 20th Century Studios’ CHEAPEST BY THE DOZEN. Photo by Merrick Morton. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All rights reserved.




Director Gail Lerner (Blackish) is not so adventurous. Many of the scenes are obvious backdrops, especially the home interiors. His cinema doesn’t really take advantage of the wide open spaces and the kind of freedom and scope that exterior shots allow.

For the first 45 minutes, the short, fast-paced scenes (editor Troy Takaki, Sweet Home Alabama) lack of spiciness. Verve finally emerges during a halftime show at a basketball game. The very competitive dads, Paul and Dom, are dancing. It’s a welcome burst of energy, Lerner treats the stage well, and Braff clowns around like a comedy star. More of these moments were needed.







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Zach Braff as Paul Baker, Gabrielle Union as Zoey Baker, Sebastian Cote as Bronx, Leo Abelo Perry as Luca, Mykal-Michelle Harris as Luna, Christian Cote as Bailey, Andre Robinson as DJ, Aryan Simhadri as Haresh and Caylee Blosenski as Harley in 20th Century Studios’ CHEAPER AT THE DOZENNE, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Merrick Morton. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All rights reserved.




Speaking of the cast, the whole ensemble brings more to the party than the filmmakers. Braff is an expert in aggression for the camera. Union plays the mother with the right amount of nurturing and the wife with just enough guts and guts. Brown, Robinson, Prael, Blosenski, Simhadri and the two sets of twins stand out.

The actors make up for a lot of what the movie lacks. They drag you into their emotional states until they feel warm and fuzzy. All have fun on sets (production designer Desma Murphy) that look too contrived with antics captured in harsh lighting (cinematographer Mitchell Amundsen) that contributes to that plastic TVish look. The musical score (John Paesano) is both resolutely contemporary and generic.

Objectively, the film dares to tackle pressing issues and reaches beautiful emotional peaks. Too bad he’s not as brave as he could have been. Yes Cheaper by the dozen had recognized what it really was, a potential series with opportunities to dig deep, it might have had more impact.

look Cheaper by the dozen on Disney+.

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