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Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Movie Review

"Yours, Mine & Ours": 18 kids under one roof — and it still comes out boring

Seattle Times movie critic

Yet another movie variant on the you-say-potato-I-say-potahto theme, the bland and witless "Yours, Mine & Ours" is the story of a supersized family who goes through some growing pains on the way to harmony — which, as luck would have it, takes about 88 minutes.

Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo (in roles originated in the 1968 movie of the same name by Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball) play Frank and Helen, a widow and widower who meet at a class reunion and instantly fall in love. He's got eight kids, she's got 10. He's an uptight military man, she's a loosey-goosey designer. His kids are buttoned-down and buttoned-up; hers are freewheeling and creative. Frank and Helen get married in a flash, presumably because they have so much in common, and things go downhill from there.

The kids, you see, don't get along — I know, I know, it's a shocker — and team up to create a scheme to break up Mom and Dad. Along the way they somehow form a family, and it all feels like the longest 88 minutes you'll ever spend. Wacky shenanigans ensue, as the tots set off fire alarms, have paint fights and vomit, not necessarily in that order. Quaid does a lot of pratfalls, and Russo holds a talking stick and looks earnest.

Movie review

 

 

Showtimes and trailer 1 star

 

"Yours, Mine & Ours," with Dennis Quaid, Rene Russo, Rip Torn, Linda Hunt. Directed by Raja Gosnell, from a screenplay by Ron Burch and David Kidd, based on the 1968 motion picture screenplay by Melville Shavelson and Mort Lachman. 88 minutes. Rated PG for some mild crude humor. Several theaters.

Audience members wishing to stay awake might ponder this film's many unanswered questions. Why does straight-arrow Frank have a kid named Otter? Why is the gorgeous Russo wasted in movies like this? Has this family met the gang from "Cheaper by the Dozen"? Who are the magic creatures who instantly clean up the house after the kids trash it, and would they mind coming to my house? Could the 1968 movie possibly be this dull?

Load up on caffeine before this one starts; you'll need it.

Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or mmacdonald@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company

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