Instant Family Review
What’s It About?
A successful couple make a snap decision to enter the adoption process, and don’t know what’s hit them when they adopt three siblings.
Who’s In It?
Mark Wahlberg (The Departed, The Fighter, Ted, & more recently Mile 22)
Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids, Spy, & more recently Peter Rabbit)
Other notables include:
Isabela Moner (Transformers: The Last Night, Sicario: Day Of The Soldado)
Octavia Spencer (The Help, Fruitvale Station, & more recently Hidden Figures)
Director: Sean Anders (Sex Drive, Horrible Bosses 2, & Daddy’s Home 1-2)
Mark Wahlberg and director Sean Anders have a history – chiefly their collaborations on Daddy’s Home 1 and 2. While neither film set the world alight, they both contained a mixture of laughs and sentimental family moments, and their latest venture follows the same path.
Based on Anders’ experience of fostering kids, Instant Family sees successful couple Pete and Ellie, who renovate homes for a living, make a surprisingly snap decision to go down the adoption route. After all, if they can do up and turn around houses, then presumably the same will go for kids?
After a brief course with some wholly unsuitable and clichéd propective foster parents, this wholly unprepared couple take in three siblings of varying ages. Following an initial honeymoon period, things take a nosedive, before improving significantly thanks to a nailgun, and then looking dicey once more when the biological mother turns up.
Despite being extremely formulaic and with limited characterisation or explanations as to why the eldest daughter is so angry, and more worryingly why the son is so brain dead, the film is packed with plenty of laughs and plenty of heart. Mark Wahlberg does his best as a try hard, well-meaning dad, while Rose Byrne impresses as the anxious mum.
Sean Anders, however, fails to blend the out and out comedy with the sentimental moments, resulting in the two moods feeling a little jarring as the script lurches from one to the other.
In A Nutshell:
Funny at times, poignant at others, with some great leads, and yet, somehow it doesn’t quite blend together.
Mark Wahlberg and particularly Rose Byrne’s performances
The film simply cannot decide whether it is an out and out comedy, or a sentimental drama, fluctuating wildly between the two.
Certificate: 12 / 12A