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Yours, Mine & Ours: Movie Review

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Can a family of 20 survive in today’s world without destroying the house or each other?

That is the question Frank Beardsley and Helen North must answer in a remake of the 1968 romantic comedy Yours, Mine and Ours that starred Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball. Opening today, the 2005 version bears some resemblance to the original but has received a considerable face lift. However, it does remain true to the underlying themes of parents coping with adult romance and the challenges of merging families together.

Dennis Quaid plays widower Frank Beardsley, a Coast Guard admiral who is struggling to manage a household of eight children. After moving back to his hometown, Frank runs into his high school sweetheart Helen North (Rene Russo), also a widow with ten kids of her own. It is as if time has stood still. They determine they still love each other so why waste time? They get married within a few days without telling their children.

Trouble ensues when the couple discovers they have very different parenting styles. Frank is a rigid disciplinarian who puts his children through rigorous paces commonly found on military bases. Helen takes a more “relaxed” approach proclaiming that “homes are for free expression, not for good impressions.”

Battle lines are quickly drawn between the two sets of children, setting the stage for a variety of comical mishaps involving the physical destruction of their house, a converted lighthouse. Eventually, the two warring families determine that the only way they can be happy is if they work together – to break up their parents.

While this is a fun family film, movie goers will undoubtedly ask themselves a plethora of obvious questions following the movie. For example, how does Helen have any time to watch television considering the fact she works a full time job and is the parent of 18 children? Or, how can this enormous family possibly cram all 20 members into two SUV’s? And the food bill? Please.

Nickelodeon Movies, one of four studios involved in the production of Yours, Mine, & Ours has certainly left their mark on the final product as there are several scenes involving slime, colorful paint, and even an unexpected love story between Quaid’s character and a pig named Fiona.

Underutilized is Rip Torn, who plays Commandant Sherman and Saturday Night Live alum David Koechner, who reprises the Van Johnson role as Frank’s best friend.

Yours, Mine & Ours is rated PG for mild crude humor. Specifically, there are two scenes of innuendo involving Mrs. Munion (Linda Hunt), the peculiar housekeeper. In one, when the children are sifting through an enormous load of laundry they discover some racy apparel they believe belongs to one of the teenage daughters. Mrs. Munion snatches it away claiming it is hers. In the other scene, when Mrs. Munion is supposed to be caring for the children while Frank and Helen are away for the weekend, she can be found locked in a room drinking alcohol and watching provocative movies.

This movie has been accused in some circles of being Cheaper by the Dozen plus six but for me it had a stronger, more impacting message. Yours, Mine & Ours is first and foremost a love story between a couple, their children, and the desire to truly be a family. Parents will relate to the chaotic sometimes humorous daily struggles involved in raising a family. Kids will enjoy the slapstick comedy of sibling rivalry all the while relating to the concept of making new friends, and in this case brothers and sisters.

Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo are no Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball, but they do make Yours, Mine & Ours a fun way to spend an afternoon.

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About The Author


Chris Carpenter is the program director for, the official website of the Christian Broadcasting Network. He also serves as executive producer for myCBN Weekend, an Internet exclusive webcast show seen on In addition to his regular duties, Chris writes extensively for the website. Over the years, he has interviewed many notable entertainers, athletes, and politicians including Oscar winners Matthew McConaughy and Reese Witherspoon, evangelist Franklin Graham, author Max Lucado, Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy and former presidential hopefuls Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Mike