The “Cheaper by the Dozen” franchise is getting another installment with a new movie that is streaming on Disney+ now. Unlike its previous films, this one has a lot to stay about the modern American family.
“I think our version of the stories is the most honest yet,” said Gabrielle Union in the film’s virtual press conference. She continued, “There are some films that try to define the ‘traditional’ family and maybe even try to shame those who don’t meet that standard. Our movie calls all families in.”
Union stars opposite Zac Braff, both of whom play the same named Baker parents that string through all the franchise’s projects. However that name and having those twelve kids are about the only thing that they keep in their movie.
“The story surrounds a day in the life of today’s blended family, where the kids actually come from our previous marriages. Back in the day, that alone wouldn’t qualify it as a ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’ movie,” said Zac Braff. He went on to say that he’s glad that he’s part of something that should have been made decades ago in showing the “hardships of divorce,” as well as the beauty of people trying to “make it work for their kids.”
The film does not only tackle family taboo topics like divorce, but race, disability, sexuality, mental health, and more.
The cast, however, also pointed out how the film delicately balances the good and the bad of life for the Baker family. “We give credit to the writers and director Gail Lerner for letting us keep to the lighter side of things too,” said Union.
Disney+’s “Cheaper by the Dozen” has kept the franchise’s signature comedic element, but brings it into the modern era as well. “Our cast of kids were amazingly talented, but they were obsessed with TikTok!,” said Braff who ended up incorporating their fascination in the form of TikTok dances in multiple scenes. “He [Braff] was so great working with them that I just trusted them to make something, and they did, even with TikTok,” said director Gail Lerner.
Lerner doesn’t have hope that their addition to the franchise will make it the best or funniest, but she agreed with her cast that they did what they wanted to do.
“We made something that we’re all very proud of,” she said. “I’m so glad that Disney+ allowed us to do something brave and entertaining.”
Our special thanks to Zac Braff, Gabrielle Union, and Gail Lerner for contributing to this story!