Bringing Up Couch Potato

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YUP. Florence had been taking fertility pills. And she and Nathan had hit the jackpot. Change the names and up the ante, and the Bobbi McCaughey saga is fully scripted in the Coen Brothers' gem Raising Arizona (1987).

There are no secrets revealed herein on the logistics of rearin' up such a brood; rather the film stages a mythic, comic, quirk-riddled ballet all aswirl around young Nathan Jr., one of moviedom's most-sought babies. Seen it already? See it again. A cult classic with its own genre that makes the heralded Fargo look like Baby's Day Out. Very, very dear to the Couch Potato Man's bulbous brown heart.

Less mythic, less funny, and much less dear to CP is Yours, Mine and Ours (1968), a treacly lightweight in which Henry Fonda and his ten children get all tangled up with Lucille Ball and her eight. It's The Brady Bunch meets The Swarm (also with Fonda), strictly for chuckle-prone domestic types for whom a gaggle of pouting cherubs are an apt substitute for just about anything. Reasons to watch: a young Tim Matheson, a full decade before Animal House, and a few winning moments involving, yes, pouting cherubs. Plus, after the terrific Mister Roberts, it's good to see Fonda back in uniform.

In the Someday My Quints Will Come (Plus Two) dept., of course, there's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) -- if you can get it without paying Disney's $89.95 you-can-only-rent-this-two-weeks-a-decade plan. But let's keep these little mites out of the mines, shall we? And if the McCaughey trust fund won't fork over for Don LaPre's tapes, the over-fertilized parents can turn to two true tales of family business: The Seven Little Foys (1955), which obviously got director Mel Shavelson the Fonda/Ball gig, or--need CP say it? The Sound of Music (1965). Eidelweiss, everyone, and happy viewing.