Yours, Mine & Ours (2005)

He’s a widow with 8 kids.  She’s a widow with 10 kids.  He’s an Admiral in the United States Coast Guard.  She’s a fashion designer.  He’s obsessive about control and cleanliness.  She’s an open-hearted hippie with a messy workspace.  They were high school sweethearts who married other people.  But after years of losing touch, a reunion at sea brings them back together.
 
That’s the set-up for Yours, Mine & Ours, one of the worst movies I’ve seen this decade.  Apart from being remarkably unfunny, this formulaic remake of the 1968 original is mean spirited, gross, cloying, manipulative and completely at odds with reality.  How three different Hollywood studios (Columbia, MGM and Paramount) were convinced of its worthiness makes me question their sanity.
 
Dennis Quaid plays Admiral Frank Beardsley, a walking stereotype.  With his trusty whistle and booming voice, he uses his military training to keep his kids in line.  He gets more than a little carried away with the lingo.  Rene Russo is his ex-girlfriend, Helen, who lets her obnoxious brats do whatever the hell they want whether it’s playing electric guitar, blowing tunelessly into a saxophone or chasing after the family’s dog, cat and pig in their front yard.  She’s more into group hugs than actual discipline.
 
Frank’s on the verge of getting promoted to Commandant while Helen, thanks to a big push from a sadly wasted Jerry O’Connell, is close to securing a major deal with Saks Fifth Avenue.  How either of these dimwits have any kind of time for personal ambition while their degenerate spawn continually fill their lives with unrelenting noise pollution is a mystery I could care less about.
 
While on a blind date in a restaurant, Frank spots Helen walking in with O’Connell’s character.  They briefly catch up but never have the slightest inclination to ask about each other’s love life.  Frank spots a wedding band on her finger, notices she’s not alone and internally jumps to the wrong conclusion.  A half-hearted, late night Google search of her name generates too many hits and he gives up immediately.  Nonetheless, he is eager to run into her again.
 
Lucky for him, he gets another chance when they both attend their high school reunion which takes place on a cruise ship.  Finally realizing the truth about their situations, they decide to elope which infuriates all of their kids.  You can pretty much guess what happens next.  They all move into a dilapidated mansion, complete with lighthouse, and proceed to be as annoying as humanly possible while getting settled in.  There are fights over bathroom time, a pretty boy comes between two of the teenage daughters, and there’s a disastrous sailing trip that is too gross to describe.
 
Inevitably, the kids set their phony differences aside in order to team up for a more important mission:  breaking up Frank and Helen.  How cheery.  It doesn’t take an Einstein to see where all this is going.
 
Being an only child, I’ve never understood Hollywood’s fascination with big families.  Honestly, what is so great about having little privacy, almost no peace and quiet and constantly competiting for everything in your own household?  It sounds like a nightmare.  Indeed, Yours, Mine & Ours is more of a horror movie than a family comedy.  It makes you seriously consider having a vasectomy.
 
Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, July 12, 2008
11:15 p.m.
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Published in: on July 12, 2008 at 11:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

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