These family comedies from director Shawn Levy will keep children and their parents entertained.
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: Ben Stiller plays Larry Daley, a down-on-his-luck divorced father in this family-friendly tale. Larry has lots of ideas and dreams, but none of them come to fruition. In an attempt to prove his stability to his ex-wife (Kim Raver) and his son, Nicky (Jake Cherry), Larry accepts a job as a night guard at the Museum of Natural History. But the elderly night guards who hire him (played by entertainment legends Mickey Rooney, Dick Van Dyke, and Bill Cobbs) fail to mention one crucial detail: when the museum is closed, everything inside comes to life. From Attila the Hun to miniature Roman soldiers, African mammals to Neanderthal men, and Egyptian mummies to dinosaur skeletons, the museum teems with lively activity. Now it's Larry's job to control the mayhem and show his son that he is, indeed, a great man after all.
CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN: College sweethearts Tom (Steve Martin) and Kate (Bonnie Hunt) both dreamed of having both fulfilling careers and a huge family. But after they had a few kids, Kate gave up her career as a sportswriter, Tom abandoned his hope of becoming the coach of their alma mater's football team, and they moved their brood from the city to the country. Now, after 12 children and a happy life in rural Illinois, Tom has been offered the chance to live his dream and coach the Stallions. No sooner does the family pack up and move to Chicago to pursue Tom's dream job than Kate's ship comes in as well: a publisher has picked up her manuscript based on her experiences raising 12 children. Of course, there's a hitch. Kate has to go to New York for a few days, leaving Tom as the primary caregiver for his clan. Can Tom hold it together with his kids--who didn't want to move in the first place--pulling him one way and the university pulling him the other? Shawn Levy directs this likable update of the 1950 film of the same title, which was based on a true (and very different) story.