Disney+ reimagines ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’

By Madison Remrey

Disney’s fresh take on “Cheaper by the Dozen” tells the story of a blended family and their hectic life as they navigate moving to a new city and turning their family-owned business into a franchise. It was directed by Gail Lerner and stars Gabrielle Union and Zach Braff. 

The movie begins by introducing the individual members of the Baker family and notes what makes each of them unique. There is Zoey (played by Union), Paul (played by Braff) and eight children– Seth, Deja, Luna, Ella, Harley, Haresh, Bronx and DJ.

Paul and Zoey run Baker’s Breakfast, their family-owned breakfast restaurant. There they serve, you guessed it, breakfast. On the menu is a special item called Baker’s Sauce. It is everything at once– sweet, hot and savory– depending on what you put it on.

It is revealed that the family is financially struggling, but that soon changes when Paul receives funding to be able to start branding and selling Baker’s Sauce.

This prompts Paul and Zoey to decide to move from Echo Park, Calif., to Calabasas. 

Once the investors see the success of the sauce, they work with Paul to start franchising the business. Paul then begins to often be away for work, which leaves Zoey to be with the kids by herself. The kids begin to lash out– secretly spending the night with boyfriends, getting into fights at school and more. 

Paul finds this out when he makes it home just in time for his son’s birthday party and decides that it is best for the family to move back to Echo Park where everyone is able to thrive and live their best lives as their authentic selves.

Lerner does a terrific job highlighting both the ups and downs of what having a mixed family is like. There are beautiful aspects such as love, friendship and adventure; but there are other parts such as divorce, misunderstanding and jealousy. 

The film also addresses harsh realities such as racism and the stereotypes that it pushes and brings to light the experiences of some that others will never have to give a second thought to.

This reimagined version of “Cheaper by the Dozen” is everything one could ask for. It is an equal mix of playful and serious and adds culturally-relevant new content while remaining true to the original movie. The new (and old) jokes make for a comedic work of art that takes viewers down a delightful trip of memory lane. 

Ultimately, it would be in anyone’s best interest to take a break and indulge in the nostalgia of watching this chaotic, yet endearing family work together to get through this crazy thing called life.


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