Like the recent Cheaper by the Dozen, Yours, Mine and Ours is a remake in name only. Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball costarred in the 1968 original, which is based on the true story of a huge blended family. This 2005 version stars Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo as Frank and Helen, former high school sweethearts and prom royalty who are reunited after the deaths of their spouses. He has eight children. She has ten. Further complicating matters are the couple’s distinct parenting styles. Frank, a Coast Guard admiral, likes his household in ship-shape and has his brood on color-coded schedules. Helen is a free spirit who thinks the home should nurture free expression. Suffice to say, their respective children are instantly at odds (“Mom gets married, we get drafted,” one of Helen’s sons complains), until they decide to cooperate in a scheme to break up Frank and Helen. Quaid and Russo make for a charming couple and anchor this rambunctious comedy that, like the children, adheres to a schedule of predictable slapstick scenes, sibling rivalries, sad goodbyes, and heartwarming reconciliations. For good measure, Quaid gets knocked down a lot and slimed (did I mention that Helen’s family has a pet pig?). Academy Award winner Linda Hunt provides further comic relief as the wildly extended family’s beleaguered housekeeper. Yours, Mine and Ours wins no awards for originality, but it is a reassuring reaffirmation of family values. It may even help inspire a more widely recognized cultural touchstone than itself: The original’s success has been credited as a factor in ABC’s decision to green-light The Brady Bunch in 1969.
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Two big families merge into one super-sized brood in this comedy. Frank Beardsley (Dennis Quaid) is a naval officer who has been raising eight children on his own after the death of his wife, and while he loves his kids, he rules his household with military precision. Frank has been alone just long enough that he decides it's time to start dating again, and he agrees to be set up on a blind date for a social function. To his surprise, his date turns out to be Helen North (Rene Russo), a girl he dated years ago when they were both in high school who, like Frank, lost her spouse not long ago. The old chemistry clicks anew for Helen and Frank, and he asks her to marry him. However, there's just a bit of a problem -- Helen is caring for ten children of her own, six of whom were adopted, and her artistic temperament makes for a very different household than Frank and his kids are used to. Frank and Helen decide to give this grand experiment a try, but the 18 siblings don't get along at all well at first, until they decide to set aside their differences and unite against a common foe -- their folks. Yours, Mine & Ours is a remake of a 1968 comedy of the same name, which starred Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball as the newlywed parents.
Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
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