Yours, Mine, & Ours
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie includes crude humor, lots of drinking, and some questionable humor around homosexual stereotypes. There's a scene where beer kegs arrive at a teen party, adults drink liquor on dates and the housekeeper pours herself a martini when she's supposed to be babysitting. Kids engineer elaborate situations to break up their parents' marriage, creating domestic chaos (food, paint, toys, furniture, and pets -- here including a pig -- all in an uproar). Parents kiss and embrace; an adolescent girl kisses a boy at school, discovered by her new, and newly jealous, stepsister. One kid vomits while seasick on a boat. Language is mild, but includes homophobic jokes.
What's the story?
In YOURS, MINE & OURS, Coast Guard Admiral Frank Beardsley (Dennis Quaid) re-meets his beautiful high school sweetheart, Helen North (Rene Russo). Both have lost their spouses and have large numbers of kids (he has eight, she has ten, six of whom are adopted). They marry without telling their kids of ahead of time. Of course, the kids are unhappy with their abruptly changed living conditions. Helen's children are artistically inclined and free-spirited (the conduct family discussions using a "talking stick"); Frank's are regimented, used to following orders and running a "tight ship." (His kids come with a nanny, played by the wonderful Linda Hunt, here reduced to inglorious reaction shots.) Frictions between the kids first cause arguments (including competition between the two teen girls over a cute boy at school). Eventually, the children decide to break up their parents' marriage. They stage events --including two boys dressing up as girls and a discussion of two girls kissing -- that will cause arguments over parenting choices.
Is it any good?
A remake of the 1968 Lucille Ball-Henry Fonda vehicle, Yours, Mine and Ours is less a movie than a series of kids-in-an-uproar scenes. Unfortunately, most of these scenes are neither comic nor clever. The set-up never pays off, as the characters remain one-dimensional and the emotional stakes only vaguely sketched. Given the traumas that lie behind the kids' resistance to change, the film's treatment of their struggles seems careless. Yes, it's a comedy, but it's not very funny.
Frank and Helen succumb to the kids' machinations and are on the verge of splitting and he's offered a promotion by his Commandant (Rip Torn), which means he and his kids can move away to Washington, DC and leave the Norths in Connecticut. At this point the plot falls apart completely, as the kids reverse course and must engineer, at the last minute, their parent's reconciliation. It's predictable but also nonsensical.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about real blended families and what they think the true challenges are.