Dir: Raja Gosnell. US. 2005. 90mins.

Looking to follow the Cheaper By The Dozen formula to box officesuccess, Yours, Mine & Ours is atiresome kids comedy that's never as funny as it is loud and oddlymean-spirited.

Opening Nov 23 inthe US, the film (with its PG rating) will be hoping to attract younger totswary of the darker Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire. The real unknown, though, iswhether family audiences will find Yours,Mine & Ours' too-many-kids-not-enough-parents storyline too similar to2003's Cheaper By TheDozen - especially with a Cheapersequel coming at Christmas. Regardless, Yours should be a reliable ancillary performer.

Considering that Cheaper did not travel so well (grossingjust over $51m internationally, as opposed to the $139m it made inAmerica alone), it appears doubtful that Yours,Mine & Ours will do much better once it begins its overseas rollout inearly 2006, despite star Dennis Quaid's involvement.

Based on the 1968film (which itself was based on Helen Beardsley's memoir, Who Gets The Drumstick'), this remake introduces us to uptightmilitary man Frank (Quaid) and artsy free spiritHelen (Rene Russo), recently widowed teenage sweethearts who reconnect at their30th high school reunion.

Despite the manyyears apart, and the fact that combined they have 18 children, they impetuouslydecide to marry, bringing their large families together under one roof.

By no means aclassic, the original benefited from the presence of Henry Fonda and LucilleBall as the romantic leads trying to balance new love with old parentalresponsibilities.

But although Quaid and Russo are good sports, director Raja Gosnell (known for lucrative but juvenile comedies such as Scooby-Doo)and writers Ron Burch and David Kidd move the focus from the harried newlywedsto their rambunctious children who, because of their parents' very differenttemperaments, have difficulty cohabitating.

Unhappily, Gosnell doesn't concern himself with credible performancesfrom his young cast. His primary responsibility seems to be outdoing Cheaper By The Dozen's hyperactivebedlam as he manufactures many strained slapstick moments (children danglingout of windows, people getting different messy liquids poured on them, a petpig running amok) that form most of the film's stabs at antic humour - all accompanied by an obnoxious punk-popsoundtrack.

Alsounsuccessfully, this remake concerns itself not with the adjustments necessaryfor the two families to coexist (as the original did) but on the kids' plan tobreak up their parents. Though a unique way for the two sets of siblings tobond, it makes for a very unlikable family film, almost an anti-Parent Trap which at least used itsscheming as a means to bring two good-hearted people together.

After spendingmost of its screen time plotting the destruction of Frank and Helen's love, Gosnell's Yours, Mine& Ours predictably must change course in the third act so that therecan be the required happy ending for all involved.

The original filmmay look quaint to modern eyes, but it nevertheless drove home the importanceof family, whereas the new version only illustrates how frenzied and emptyfamily movies have become.

Quaid and Russo display a relaxed, grown-upsexiness that makes them a good romantic match.

Robert Simonds Productions
Nickelodeon Movies
Columbia Pictures

US distribution

Sony Pictures Releasing International

Ira Shuman
Richard Suckle
Tracey Trench

Robert Simonds
Michael Nathanson

Ron Burch
David Kidd
From the screenplay by Melville Shavelson and Mort Lachman, story by Madelyn Davis and Bob Carroll, Jr

Theo Van de Sande

Stephen A Rotter
Bruce Green

Production design
Linda DeScenna

Christophe Beck

Main cast
Dennis Quaid
Rene Russo
Rip Torn
Linda Hunt
Jerry O'Connell
David Koechner
Sean Faris
Katija Pevec
Danielle Panabaker
Drake Bell