Things We Loved About The Remake
Earlier this year, Disney released Cheaper By The Dozen (2022) which comes as the latest adaptation of the 1948 novel by the same name. Though this is the third time Cheaper By The Dozen has appeared on viewers’ screens, Disney’s latest adaption makes a series of diversions that update the storyline for the modern age.
The movie follows Zoey & Paul Baker, parents of 11 children & owners of a local breakfast diner. As their business exp&s thanks to Paul’s signature sauce, the family moves into a snobby new neighborhood where they tackle issues such as racism, prejudice, & belonging. Though there are elements the film could have improved, especially in comparison to other adaptations, there is still a whole lot to love.
12/12 Baby Photo Montage
The film opens to Beyonce’s iconic song Love On Top & showcases images of the Baker family both now & as little kids. This montage gives the audience a more personalized look into some of the character’s personalities without having too much clunky exposition.
It’s also highly reminiscent of the ways in which modern viewers would get to know people through social media & helps to set the scene for the ways in which Cheaper By The Dozen addresses the family’s diversity & blended nature.
11/12 Chaotic Morning Routines
One of the scenes we see repeated throughout the film is the Bakers’ morning routine, & it often serves as insight into how the family is coping. In their old family home, Paul & Zoey work together as a well-oiled machine to get everyone up, ready, & out on time.
When they move homes, this upheaval is shown through their chaotic morning & last-minute prep due to a start-time mix-up. Paul’s departure to grow the family business leaves Zoey in charge of the mornings on her own & audiences see how hard it is for her to cope without him.
10/12 Accessibility Representation
Harley Baker is a wheelchair user, & the film includes a few nods to the family’s efforts to make their home accessible. In the opening scene at the Baker’s old house, audiences see Harley using a ramp as they all leave for school.
Later in the film, Paul mentions that there is an elevator in their new home & viewers also get a glimpse of an accessibility h&le in the shower. Though Harley is disabled, the film ensures that this isn’t her only defining characteristic & she’s shown to be an independent & entirely capable teen.
9/12 Bark Obama And Joe Bitin’
A great family unit wouldn’t be complete without pets, & Cheaper By The Dozen meets this brief with the inclusion of two dogs: Bark Obama the rottweiler & Joe Bitin’ the chihuahua. Though these two fur babies don’t have the biggest roles in the movie, it’s clear just how much the Bakers, particularly Luna, adore them.
Bark Obama also serves to highlight one of the main issues dealt with in the film, prejudice. When he’s spotted running around their rich neighborhood with the twins, a member of Zoey’s new mom group makes a comment about how wild the kids are & how he must be a stray dog.
8/12 Cozy Family Scenes
Any decent remake of Cheaper By The Dozen will always include lots of scenes that showcase familial love, & the 2022 Disney adaptation is no different.
Though viewers can easily see how much the Baker siblings & parents love each other, as well as their family loyalty when they take in Paul’s nephew Seth, it is the scenes where they all pile into bed together for a movie night that truly captures the family magic. Even the dogs are allowed to join in on the fun.
7/12 Subtle Bring It On Easter Eggs
One of the best characters in the movie is Zoey Baker, played by early 00s movie icon Gabrielle Union. Union is well known for her role in the cheerleading family movie Bring It On. There are several subtle nods to this throughout Cheaper By The Dozen, with audiences learning that Zoey met her ex-husb&, Dom, through cheerleading for his football team in college.
Though the movie doesn’t show any images of this past, Bring It On fans with a keen eye can spot that the colors of Deja Baker’s basketball team evoke that of Union’s iconic cheerleading uniform.
6/12 Discussions Of Racism
With the Bakers being a large, multiracial, & blended family, it is only natural that the film would include scenes that address the racism they face in everyday life.
From their gated community’s security guard judging them upon their arrival, to one of the neighborhood moms making racist remarks & microaggressions, the movie shows the Bakers dealing with a world that judges them differently based on what they look like. But it is the monologue from Dom about what it’s like to simply exist as a black man in society, that truly unpacks the issue & explores the nuance.
5/12 Paul Baker Trying His Best
The plot of the movie ultimately focuses on Paul’s growth from an insecure dorky dad trying to get the best for his family, to a more secure but still dorky dad who listens to his family’s needs. Though he makes a lot of missteps & wrong decisions in the movie, he ultimately chooses what is right for his family.
In his quest to be a good provider, Paul decides to move his family to a fancy gated community & sends them to private school after the successful launch of his sauce business. After it becomes clear how unhappy his family has become, Paul realizes that there is more to being a good dad than just what money can buy.
4/12 Twin Antics
With two sets of twins in the family & another pair as Paul’s business managers, Cheaper By The Dozen undoubtedly has some great twin representation moments. While Bailey & Bronx are adventurous & a little clumsy, Luna & Luca have Huge personalities & never fail to let them shine.
From drag races through the halls of their house, to schooling their dad on TikTok dances, & to Luna & Luca becoming a successful tennis doubles team, the Baker twins bring viewers a lot of fun.
3/12 Seth’s Acceptance Into The Family
Though he only appears part way through the movie, Seth plays a Huge role in Disney’s 2022 adaptation. When Paul’s sister goes to rehab, her son Seth is brought into the Bakers’ new home to live with them. He is initially distrusted by the other siblings, as they know he has a history of crime.
But when he runs away, the whole family comes together to bring him home. By the end of the movie, the audience sees Seth grow under the unconditional love & guidance of the Baker family who he has become an official member of.
2/12 DJ And Paul’s Relationship
Despite his biological father being a famous athlete, DJ chooses to Advance to Paul when he’s having trouble with a girl he likes at school. Dom has a lot to say on the matter, but DJ steps up to defend Paul & the supportive relationship they have.
Though Dom does his best to be a strong father figure, it’s Paul’s nerdiness & relatability that DJ connects with most. This leads to Dom trying to connect with DJ’s interests more by the end of the movie, something which Paul wholeheartedly supports.
1/12 Bakers’ Hot, Sweet, And Savory Sauce
From beginning to end, Paul’s signature sauce brings the Baker family together. When he & Zoey meet for the first time, the sauce is a Huge factor in how they hit it off. Once the couple get together & truly become a family, Zoey supports Paul’s dream of selling the sauce in retail.
Thanks to its success, the sauce allows the family to move to a larger home, send their kids to private school, & buy a new car. Toward the end of the movie, when Paul realizes that the simplicity of their old life suited them better, he changes the name & br&ing of the sauce to reflect his whole family, including Seth.
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