|Cheaper by the Dozen 2|
|Directed by||Adam Shankman|
|Written by||Sam Harper|
by Craig Titley
Cheaper by the Dozen
Belles on Their Toes
by Ernestine Gilbreth Carey and Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr.
|Music by||John Debney|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox |
|Country||United States |
|Budget||$60 million |
|Box office||$135 million |
Cheaper by the Dozen 2 is a 2005 American family comedy film directed by Adam Shankman. It is a sequel to the 2003 film Cheaper by the Dozen and stars Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Tom Welling, Piper Perabo, and Hilary Duff, among other child actors reprising their roles as members of the 12-child Baker family, alongside Eugene Levy and Carmen Electra as new characters. It tells the story of the Baker family as they go on a vacation and contend with a rival family.
The film was released on December 21, 2005 in the United States. It received negative reviews from critics and grossed $135 million worldwide.
Two years after Tom Baker resigned from his head coaching position, his family begins to undergo many changes, beginning with Lorraine's high school graduation and internship with Allure Magazine in New York City. Nora is now married to Bud McNulty and pregnant with their first child with the intent to move to Houston, Texas because of Bud's new job.
Feeling the family is breaking apart as the children grow up and move away, Tom persuades them to take one last family vacation all together at Lake Winnetka, a fictional lake in Wisconsin. The family finds that their old cabin is currently owned by a man named Mike Romanow. Tom's old rival, Jimmy Murtaugh, his new wife Sarina, and his eight kids Calvin, Anne, Daniel, Becky, Elliot, Lisa, Robin and Kenny are also staying at the lake for the summer; Jimmy is also friends and neighbors with Mike. Jimmy constantly flaunts his wealth and success to Tom, as well as the accomplishments of his children, often suggesting to Tom that his are less successful because of his parenting style. They get into many incidents, several of which are accidental: Mark accidentally sets off a backpack of fireworks, causing widespread panic, especially when it is thrown into a boat, igniting its engine and causing it to explode, he and Kenny crash into a tennis court with a golf cart, and Sarah is caught shoplifting from a gift shop.
Jimmy again brings up the topic that Tom needs to be stricter with his kids. Tom is angered by this, and he and Jimmy decide to settle the matter at the Annual Labor Day Family Cup. Tom trains the kids for days, not realizing they are miserable. Sarah and Elliot go to the movies to see Ice Age , but are spied on by their fathers, which ultimately results in them getting into an altercation and humiliating their children. Upon returning to the Bakers’ cabin, Sarah is furious and refuses to compete for Tom in the Cup. The other children are also angry with him, not only for spying on Sarah, but also for ruining the entire trip because of his competitiveness with the Murtaughs. Kate laments that his and Jimmy’s conflicting parenting styles have torn the two families even further apart.
The next morning, Tom goes to the Cup to compete with Kyle and Nigel, the only two still willing to go. However, after discovering an old "Team Baker" flag, Kate and the rest of the kids show up, forgiving Tom and willing to compete again. After the events, however, the Bakers and the Murtaughs are tied for first; a tiebreaking canoe race is announced, in which every family member must compete. During the canoe race, Nora goes into labor; the Murtaughs want to help, but Jimmy, sensing the opportunity to defeat Tom once and for all, refuses to do so. The Murtaugh children jump out of the canoe to help the Bakers. While arguing with Sarina, Jimmy reveals that he was jealous of Tom being the popular one when they were younger. Eventually, Sarina convinces him to help and the two families work together to get Nora to the hospital. Bud, Lorraine, and Kate go with Nora in the delivery room, while Tom, Jimmy, Sarina, and the rest of the kids stay in the waiting room.
While talking with Jimmy, Tom realizes that he has to let his kids grow, but wherever they go, they will always be together as a family. Nora then gives birth to a baby boy whom she and Bud name after his grandfather, who has shown them that "there is no way to be a perfect parent, but a million ways to be a really good one."
Bud announces that he and Nora have bought the cabin back at the lake. Nora, Bud, and baby Tom leave for Houston a few days later, and the family enjoy the rest of their vacation.
The director of the first film, and producer of the sequel, Shawn Levy, has a cameo as a hospital intern. Ben Falcone appears as a theater patron that gets annoyed with Tom and Jimmy's argument.
Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 6% of 93 reviews of the film were positive, with an average rating of 3.9/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "A sequel to a remake, Cheaper 2 wastes its solid cast in scenes of over-the-top, predictable humor."  On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 34 out of 100 based on 24 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".  Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, the same grade as the first film. 
Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert, gave the film one of its rare positive reviews, awarding it 3 out of 4 stars and stating "As I watched this sequel, a certain good feeling began to make itself known. Yes, the movie is unnecessary. However, it is unnecessary at a higher level of warmth and humor than the recent remake Yours, Mine, and Ours ." Ebert also highly praised Alyson Stoner's performance, favorably comparing the then-twelve year old actress to Reese Witherspoon. 
Calling the overall film "bland", Variety's Justin Chang agreed with Ebert on Stoner, calling her "an endearingly vulnerable standout" and deeming her subplot to be "the most engaging" in it. Chang was also kind to Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt and Eugene Levy, deeming the veteran actors did the best with what was given to them.  Marrit Ingman of the Austin Chronicle conceded that it had a good message, and agreed that Hunt was "marvelous and down-to-earth" but ultimately felt that "the rest of the movie is as funny as mildew", found that "the product placement is particularly egregious" and thought that Hilary Duff looked "as tanned and raw as buffalo jerky".  Andrea Gronvall was also horrified by Duff's appearance while writing for the Chicago Reader , calling her "haggard" and "flat-out scary", and overall felt that there was "a discernible lack of enthusiasm from almost everyone involved", however singling out Carmen Electra for being "the most winning performer of the bunch". 
The film received two Razzie Award nominations including Worst Actress (Hilary Duff) and Worst Supporting Actor (Eugene Levy).[ citation needed ]
The film grossed $9,309,387 on its opening weekend, finishing in 4th place at the box office behind King Kong , The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe , and Fun with Dick and Jane . By the end of its run, Cheaper by the Dozen 2 grossed $82,571,173 domestically and $46,610,657 internationally, totaling $129,181,830 worldwide. It is one of only twelve feature films to be released in over 3,000 theaters and still improve on its box office performance in its second weekend, increasing 55.6% from $9,309,387 to $14,486,519. 
The DVD was released on May 23, 2006.  The Blu-ray was released on January 5, 2010. The DVD is two-sided and side B features previews of Flicka and Aquamarine .[ citation needed ] Other DVD extras include an audio commentary with director Adam Shankman, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and theatrical trailers.
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