Combustible Celluloid
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With: Dennis Quaid, Rene Russo, Sean Faris, Katija Pevec, Danielle Panabaker, Drake Bell, Rip Torn, Linda Hunt, Jerry O'Connell, David Koechner
Written by: Ron Burch and David Kidd, based on the 1968 screenplay by Melville Shavelson, Mort Lachman, Madelyn Davis and Bob Carroll Jr.
Directed by: Raja Gosnell
MPAA Rating: PG for some mild crude humor
Running Time: 88
Date: 11/23/2005

Yours, Mine and Ours (2005)

1 Star (out of 4)

Desperate 'Ours'

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

In a family with 18 kids, where does all the food come from, and who pays for it? What happens if one kid has something like asthma or ADD, or needs braces? How will the parents even know when they get to spend roughly 20 seconds with each child on any given day?

The inane new movie Yours, Mind and Ours does not answer these or any other questions. The kids on display here are all straight from central casting: perfect, polished and beautiful. The older teens could be cover girls or boy band stars, and not a spot of acne appears anywhere.

And if reality doesn't seep into this story, don't expect anything resembling characters to be in there either. These are all just types, from the Asian girl with the video camera to the African American kid who raps and the "adorable" twins who speak as one unit.

Based on a half-forgotten 1968 film starring Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball, the plot introduces us to Coast Guard Admiral Frank Beardsley (Dennis Quaid), widowed with eight kids. We also meet artistic Helen North (Rene Russo), Frank's former high school sweetheart, also widowed and with ten kids (six adopted). Without telling the kids, they meet and marry in a whirlwind couple of days. The strict military kids and the free-spirited artistic kids instantly hate one another, and so they plot together to split the parents up. Predictably, in so conspiring, they begin to bond.

In place of genuine humor, the movie instead employs bad slapstick and bodily function jokes. It also throws in a few "cute" animals, such as a burping pig, just in case the kids don't measure up. Someone vomits off screen within the first 15 minutes, but fear not, we get onscreen vomit before the 25-minute mark. (Beware of family movies that are rated PG for "crude humor.")

Quaid can be a fine, intuitive performer, and he's one of the few Hollywood stars with a grown-up presence, but he's not the kind of actor that should be falling over the sides of boats, stepping into paint cans, or getting splattered with various other disagreeable fluids.

Only Linda Hunt, as a cynical housekeeper/nanny, provides any kind of respite from the relentless stupidity. In one scene, she retreats into the den, mixes a martini and watches wrestling. Rather than sit through Yours, Mine and Ours, viewers ought to echo that sentiment.{subid}&url=hitlist.asp?searchfield=marvel
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