Movie Review: Yours, Mine and Ours

USA, Melville Shavelson (1968)

So I’m watching this movie based on the true story of a widower (Henry Fonda) with ten children who marries a widow (Lucille Ball) with eight–hilarity ensues. And there’s this one kid who’s got a bit of a standout part, playing the precocious Philip. And I’m thinking, this kid sounds like someone. Then it dawns on me–he sounds like Linus in all the Charlie Brown TV specials.

When I looked him up on IMDB, alas, it turned out I was wrong. No such credit appeared under his name. On a hunch, I clicked on the Trivia link to find that his brother was the voice of Linus. And that, was the most interesting aspect of this film.

Other than that, gimme a break. While parts of Yours, Mine and Ours, mostly the scenes between Fonda and Ball, were sweet, there were so many ridiculous sections, it became painful at times to watch.

Gimme a break:

— Lucille Ball’s character gets sloshed on a screwdriver that Fonda’s sons make for her, dousing it in alcohol. She tastes it, makes a face (Wow, that’s strong!), tastes it again, makes another face…drinks it all and has a hilarious (read embarrassing) drunk at dinner scene where she spills food all over one of the kids and then cries in trademark Lucy style. She keeps saying “I don’t know why I’m acting like this!” Excuse me, the mother of eight had never been drunk before?! Please, tell me that she couldn’t tell her screwdriver could light a bonfire.

— After going to the bathroom to be sick, she emerges in the next scene–completely sober?!?! A touching scene follows where the boys apologize for their prank, and Henry Fonda proposes in front of his family. (Me: “Oh my God, if he kisses her after she’s just barfed, I’m going to barf!”) EEEEEEeeeeeewwwwwww! (childish moment ensued.)

— When a six-year-old girl gets locked in a bathroom during a blackout, and can’t find the key, Fonda passes her one wooden match through the keyhole and tells her to light it. I wish they’d shown the little girl flicking the top of the match with her fingernail, a la Clint Eastwood in a western, because somehow she was able to light the darn thing on her own.

So, yes, I’m nit-picking details, but this was typical of the ridiculousness of this movie. Yeah, yeah it’s a true story, but that doesn’t make for a good movie that stands the test of time.

Here’s the Gist: If you think the Brady Bunch is hi-larious, and not because you grew up watching it, but because you dig this kind of wholesome family fun, you might like this too. [**]

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