Published Nov 01, 2005People who willingly endure brightly-lit family comedies with cute pet pigs are generally not inclined to read reviews (or read anything), so maybe my efforts here will be largely in vain. But for the hardy few willing to slog through a synopsis, let it be known that a) Dennis Quaid is a cheerfully uptight Coast Guard man with ten kids, b) Rene Russo is an artistic free spirit with eight kids, c) the two get hitched and pool their families, and d) the results are almost impossible to endure.
There are adorable moppets, bitchy teenage girls, charts, talking sticks and sentiment, but most of all there is chaos and Dennis Quaid overreacting to said chaos. The movie takes an actor who has proven himself very capable over the last few years and quietly hands him his ass; not only does it require him to bug his eyes out over things a parent should be by all rights be jaded, but it tosses him in slime and goo so many times as to make you cover your eyes in sympathetic shame.
The rest is by the book, all "we hate each other, no we love each other" push/pull and "hilarious" embarrassing moments with paint and vomit. So many liquids are put to so many unpleasant uses in this movie that you want to get it analysed for its fixation, and while I'd surely be advised it's only a phase I fear that the public's taste for this swill is a lifelong habit with no hope of a cure.
The most you can say for it is that it's no worse than the last 900 movies of its type, but that's no comfort when you feel like you're reliving all of those 900 movies simultaneously. (Paramount)