Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Cheaper By The Dozen 2

Illustration for article titled Cheaper By The Dozen 2


• Unnecessarily sequelizing an unnecessary remake

• Alternating criminal levels of sentiment with massive violent slapstick

• Helping waste whatever of Steve Martin and Eugene Levy's talent is left to waste


Defender: Director Adam Shankman

Tone of commentary: Passive-aggressive, with an undertone of desperate, puppy-dog eagerness to be liked, even if it means siding with viewers against the movie. Shankman initially stumbles and cuts himself off rushing to identify each individual shot, explaining who's onscreen, where it was filmed, and what happened in the process. But later, he settles into an upbeat snideness, mocking the action, deriding the editing, and aping the snotty things the characters would be telling each other if they were real people instead of family-movie stereotypes.


What went wrong: Several cast members, like Hilary Duff, were largely unavailable due to other commitments, so their scenes were shot separately. Shankman cheerfully points out all the continuity errors caused by this, and by scenes that were removed, changed, or set up haphazardly. Also, the dog humping Carmen Electra was completely unexpected.

Comments on the cast: "The bribery never ended on this movie," Shankman says, describing how he wheedled his unwieldy mob of child actors into obeying him. This included allowing his line director to pants him to convince one recalcitrant child to also drop trou.


Inevitable dash of pretension: Shankman is immensely self-effacing about himself, his filmmaking skills, and even the jokes he makes in this commentary. His only pretension is self-conscious faux-pretension, as when he notes that music was added to a scene in post-production, then gushes sarcastically, "Isn't that magical? Hollywood is amazing. We can just do anything."

Commentary in a nutshell: "Look, Piper [Perabo] and Jonathan [Bennett] are eating again. I could never figure out anything else to do with them. I guess I'm really uncreative."


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