In recent years Steve Martin has a made a career playing frazzled fathers in a series of forgettable family comedies with names like Father of the Bride, Bringing Down the House and the first Cheaper by the Dozen. The movies may be bland, but they are successful at the box office. In 2003 Cheaper by the Dozen’s brood of brats became the highest grossing comedy of all time, raking in $138 million. With numbers like that on the balance sheet a sequel was inevitable. In part two, out of DVD this week, Martin and his unruly family of twelve kids take a vacation to cottage country. To their horror they discover that they are sharing the lake with Martin’s childhood foe and a game of one upsmanship ensues. The movie fails on so many levels it’s hard to know where to start. It is crudely made, not very funny and there is more real family interaction on any episode of The Simpson’s than in this movie, but the thing that really rankles is watching the incredible comic talent of Steve Martin, once one of the sharpest comedic actors going, blunted by doing insipid material like this.
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