Instant Family   review by Drusilla Blakey 

Mark Wahlberg is mostly known for his action and dramatic roles, but every so often he throws a comedy out there. His latest film Instant Family teams him up with the always great Rose Byrne and his Daddy’s Home director Sean Anders, but does it offer up the heart and laughs you expect or will it not be a stable household worth watching?

 

Instant Family follows Pete and Ellie who decide to start a family and they stumble into the world of foster care adoption. They hope to take in one small child but when they meet three siblings, including a rebellious 15 year old girl, they find themselves speeding from zero to three kids overnight. Now, Pete and Ellie must hilariously try to learn the ropes of instant parenthood in the hopes of becoming a family. I was looking forward to seeing this film as it was based upon the life story of the writer/director and I found the whole thing quite interesting! When I was much younger I too had thought about the idea of fostering or adopting because the need for good homes is so great.  So it was such an interesting thing to see how this couple dealt with this new reality of becoming an instant family.  Also, as a step parent, I myself became a member of an instant family when I married my husband.  So I was totally in!

 

Overall the film is good and very emotional, so you may want to bring your tissues.  It quickly draws you in to the story and really has you rooting for this young couple to succeed as foster/adoptive parents.  I appreciated the pacing of the film which didn't waste time on useless nonsense, but did give focus to storytelling.  Mark Wahlberg gives a nice performance in this one.  I was happy to not have to see him in another hero, action, muscle flexing role.  This time, he is just a genuine 'every man', 'father' figure without frills and without having to show off his muscles or flex for the camera.  It was actually refreshing.

 

Rose Bryne was a delight as well.  I really enjoyed seeing her be more 'real' and down to earth.  She isn't overly made up; she simply has her natural beauty on

display and it is stunning.  She also shows a great range of emotions which I really enjoyed.  I think we are all used to seeing her funny side, but here we also she her emotional and vulnerability which is very engaging.

 

Now, remember that they say 'never work with children'?  This time, I must say that these kids did not annoy me at all (as most child actors tend to do).  I was pleasantly surprised!  All three of the children in the film (Julianna Gamiz, Gustavo Quiroz, and Isabela Moner) did an amazing job.  Isabela Moner, the oldest child and the one we deal with most in the story did a great job.  And as many of you may remember, she was the little girl in the Transformers movie with Mark Wahlberg, so their rapport and bonding in the film should come as no surprise.

 

The film also does a good job of educating the audience on the huge number of children that are currently stuck in the foster care system.  It creates a 'call to action' feeling for the viewer. There may even be some who come out of the movie empowered and inspired to become a foster family.  Along with that education, this movie also examines the stigma associated with foster/adoptive children.  The old idea that because they are 'not blood' that they are not truly family.  But remember, your family isn't always blood, but it's those you love!

In addition to the film this release also includes bonus content including deleted & extended scenes, gag reel, commentary, and numerous featurettes behind bringing this family comedy to life. Join the family and grab your copy of Instant Family available now on digital and then on Blu-ray and DVD on March 5th from Paramount Home Entertainment.

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