Yours, Mine & Ours (February 13/06)
It probably shouldn't come as any surprise that Yours, Mine & Ours has virtually nothing to offer viewers over a certain age, as it's been directed by Raja Gosnell - a filmmaker who has long since established himself as a purveyor of exceedingly juvenile fare (Home Alone 3, Big Momma's House, Scooby Doo 1 and 2, etc). And while it seems obvious that small children will delight to the relentlessly broad hijinks, the film is essentially a dead zone of comedic set-pieces and contrived situations.
Based on the 1968 film of the same name, Yours, Mine & Ours casts Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo as Frank and Helen - high school sweethearts who bump into each other years later and impulsively get married a few days later. This causes problems for their respective broods - Frank has eight children, while Helen has ten - who aren't exactly thrilled with the prospect of sharing a house with a whole new batch of kids. Eventually, after subjecting one another to a series of increasingly absurd pranks, the 18 kids set aside their differences and conspire to put an end to Frank and Helen's relationship.
As terrible as the majority of Yours, Mine & Ours is, the film is - however briefly - saved from utter tedium by sequences revolving exclusively around Quaid and Russo's characters. The two are as charming as ever (particularly Quaid), and it's difficult not to wish that the film had instead dealt solely with their happenstance reunion and subsequent courtship. Instead, Gosnell - along with screenwriters Ron Burch and David Kidd - infuses the film with the cliched antics of Frank and Helen's bratty offspring (and their pet pig!) As a result, the movie is filled to the brim with over-the-top instances of physical comedy - the majority of which is directed against poor Quaid (who surely deserves far, far better than this).
And while there are a couple of funny bits here and there - ie naval officer Frank threatens to forcibly conscript a group of rowdy partygoers at his house - the filmmakers' decision to emphasize third-rate shenanigans over an honest look at the clash stemming from the difference in Frank and Helen's respective parenting styles ultimately transforms Yours, Mine & Ours into a tough slog indeed.