I've seen plenty of cookie-cutter movies, but none recently that failed so miserably in execution. Mechanically, it's all there, but somehow the moments where we're supposed to feel something fall flat, and if you're going to make a formula film, that's the thing you have to nail.

I recall reading, in Junior High, the book upon which this film is based... inspired by... er, whose name the film is trying to capitalize upon. While my memory is not what it was, I remember the book as having more personality, and that the kids were much more interesting, than this slice of middle america. In "updating" the story, they've lost much of the charm of the original work. We focus too much on the parents and their dreams. The consequence of a family so large is in adapting to it, and the script gives the simplest, surfacy approach to dealing with it.

There's some places you might laugh, and a few good moments with Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt, but there's no reason to go off in search of this one.

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