Coast Guard Adm. Frank Beardsley is making yet another military move, this time to command the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. To say that his eight children are tired of moving would be an understatement. The constant uprooting of military life has become harder, too, since their mother died a few years ago. Frank runs a loving but shipshape household, with the kids living according to a strict schedule and expectations that everyone will pitch in to keep the Beardsley boat between the buoys.
Shortly after arriving in New London, Frank runs into Helen, an old high school flame. It turns out that she also lost a spouse a few years ago, and she oversees a brood of 10 (some of them adopted). Helen is an artsy type, designing handbags for high-end department stores. She expects nothing more of her kids than they learn to express themselves artistically.
So, do opposites attract? Is this a Hollywood movie? Next thing you know, Frank and Helen have tied the knot, to the dismay of their children, who not only have to deal with a new—and very different—adult in the house, but also new siblings and different expectations. Feathers are ruffled. Tempers flare. And the children of the newly joined clans decide there can be only one solution to their problem: get Mom and Dad to break up.
Yours, Mine & Ours is loaded with positive messages about family, marriage, parenting and learning to get along despite differences. The value of having both a mom and dad in the house is stressed, as is working through the inevitable difficulties of married life. In fact, for all his no-nonsense, military demeanor, Frank is most open to changing in order to make the marriage work. At one point he asks Helen, “How can I help you?” And he turns down a plum career-capping promotion because it would interfere with his new family’s life.
Helen’s adopted children are of several different races, something that is never considered out of the norm. One of Helen’s adopted sons, Lau, has her artistic flair, leading her to say, “No one will ever doubt you’re my son.”
A sexual double entendre and some teen sexuality mar this film. While thinking of ways to make Frank and Helen mad at each other, two of the older teens make a sly joke about a stepbrother and stepsister (and stepsisters) getting "caught" together. Two of the younger boys dress in girls’ clothing and talk about “girly stuff.”
Phoebe and Christina vie for a big man on campus, describing him as a “hottie,” and one scene shows him and Phoebe making out on the school’s front lawn. Frank’s housekeeper, Mrs. Munion, jokes about the newlyweds making “a break for the bedroom.” The two cuddle in bed, fully aware that they have a house full of children, leading Frank to say softly, “If we’re really quiet ...” (A teen voice echoes back that they’re not quiet enough.) Frank tells a story about a fabled lighthouse keeper, calling her a “hottie body.” Frank and Helen kiss passionately while dancing.
Helen wears low-cut dresses on a few occasions and once wears a lacy nightie. Christina is shown wearing nothing but a towel after coming out of the bathroom. She also wears a midriff-baring cheerleader outfit. Mrs. Munion pulls a pair of her lacy panties out of the laundry and holds them up for the boys to see.
Nickelodeon was a co-producer of this film, and a lot of that network’s trademark slapstick and mild gross-out humor pervades the story. One boy falls off a ladder and lands in a box of glitter. In another scene Frank slips and falls, landing in a container of paint. Christina pours a pitcher of iced tea over a boy’s head. The children get in pushing and shoving matches and a pillow fight. Frank is cornered by an out-of-control forklift in a warehouse store (driven by two of his boys) and is bopped and socked with various items knocked off the shelves before falling into a pool of green gunk. While sailing, Frank is whacked by the jib and knocked overboard.
On a more serious note, one of the older boys asks a bully, “How about my fist in your face?” (He’s defending his younger brothers.) A boy is said to need a “butt-whupin’.” Mrs. Munion watches wrestling on TV, where we see a man body-slammed and another hit with a ladder. A boy dangles precariously from a high window.
Crude or Profane Language
One of Frank’s boys mouths off to him, and Dad responds, “Don’t p--- me off.” Also, there is one use of “h---.” God’s name is misused twice. A man says “darn,” and various people are called “jerk,” “loser” and “punk.”
Drug and Alcohol Content
Mrs. Munion fixes herself a martini. Teens bring kegs of beer to a party. Frank and a date have wine with a meal, and the woman comments on her ex-husband’s drinking problem.
Other Negative Elements
A seasick boy vomits on the deck of a sailboat, and another slips and falls in it. Two children stick their tongues out at each other. A boy is teased for allegedly wetting his pants. Bullies accuse twins of sharing underpants. A young boy is shown in his underpants. A pig belches loudly.
Yours, Mine & Ours is a remake of a 1968 film of the same name staring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda. It’s refreshing to see a story that so strongly supports intact families, and both parents and children learn important lessons about love, patience and the law of unintended consequences.
It’s hard to know at whom it is targeted, though. The Nickelodeon slapstick is not likely to appeal to teens. The conflict among the older teens is not likely to appeal to younger kids. And a bit of gratuitous though minor sexual content and some borderline language will likely have families thinking about whether they want to make Yours, Mine & Ours theirs.