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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Yours, Mine and Ours — DVD Review

Romantic comedies rarely offer much in the way of suspense, or, for that matter, plot. Viewers pretty much know “the guy gets the girl” in the end, and hope for a few laughs along the way. With an emphasis on few, as in few laughs, Yours, Mine, and Ours is no exception.

High school sweethearts Frank Beardsley (Dennis Quaid) and Helen North (Rene Russo) find each other again after each has been widowed for years. Their first chance meeting occurs while both are on dates with others. Shortly thereafter, a second not-so-chance meeting at their high school reunion ends with the two married. Her 8 kids and his 10 are less than thrilled, and eventually have little trouble exposing the fact that the straight-laced Coast Guard Admiral and a laid-back handbag designer may have a few differences they should have considered before marrying in a rush.

Never really a bad idea, eh?

The older generation will have to forgive me for thinking of this as an updated version of The Brady Bunch. (Don’t worry, I realize it’s a remake of the 1968 Yours, Mine and Ours, I just never saw the original.) There’s even a live-in maid, though instead of a dog the family has a pet pig.

The storyline wasn’t much better than the old sitcom, either. The kids eventually realize that, instead of fighting each other, becoming allies to break-up their parents — and, therefore, being rid of each other — is a better plan. (Ok, so they’re meaner than the Brady kids.) Of course, once the plan works, a few regrets settle in.

To be fair, this was a Nickelodeon production, but even the kids will want more. There’s just nothing that stands out. Russo and Quaid are fine, but the kids are fairly nondescript. Andrew Vo, as Lau North, comes the closest to being memorable playing a sassy, decorator-type in a little kid’s body. But I think there were just too many kids to allow even his solid performance to shine through.

There’s definitely a chuckle or two, but no hearty laughs. It also moves, possibly too fast early on, and isn’t very long so no one will get restless before it ends. If you don’t expect too much from Yours, Mine, and Ours, you can watch it for fun while looking for something better.

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