If you’re looking for some healthy and fun laughs this holiday season then Instant Family definitely needs to be on your list, and make no mistake about it in this laugh-out-loud comedy sees stars Mark Wahlberg and Rose Bryne get one serious crash course in modern day parenting.
When Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) decide to start a family, they stumble into the world of adoption. When they meet the trio of siblings, including a rebellious 15-year-old girl (Isabela Moner), they find themselves unexpectedly 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.
Directed by Sean Anders, a director with a gift for the comedic who has helped shape Wahlberg from an action superstar into a comedic god with works such as Daddy’s Home and Daddy’s Home 2, we get a piece of cinema that will really make your heart shine. In Instant Family, not only does Anders again capture the presence of Wahlberg perfectly, but he also lucks out with Rose Byrne, herself a gifted comedic actress and right off the bat these two performers have a wicked sense of timing and chemistry. As affluent yuppie couple, Pete and Ellie Wagner they seem to have everything…except that is for a loving family. Suddenly smitten with the idea they decide to pursue the adoption route….and that’s when the laughs really kick in.
As an audience member, you really buy into Wahlberg and Byrne’s chemistry up on screen and the trials and tribulations that await them as they set out to become parents. Both Pete and Ellie have a steep learning curve when it comes to parenthood, and this is especially true when it comes to rebellious 15-year-old Lizzie (Isabela Moner), who has no desire to be a part of their family and at every opportunity seeks to find new ways to test them. But ultimately they win…even if it does take them a while. Wahlberg’s recent comedic work in films such as Daddy’s Home and Daddy’s Home 2 really give him an edge here with his dialled in comedic timing, and Byrne’s attempt to become a den mother has plenty of funny moments to it. It might be hard work, but eventually, they realise that family is truly worth everything, even if it’s an uphill battle.
As a director, Anders has a flair for the comedic and it really expresses itself here. His direction is spot on and the film’s script has a lot of comedic gold. One of the recurring gags that he sends our way is in the form of Pete and Ellie’s adoptive son Juan (Gustavo Quiroz), who continually finds himself falling into trouble. The funniest of these involves a nail gun and his clumsiness, and without giving anything away you can probably guess what comes next. But while the film’s hilarity will have you in fits of laughter Anders uses it to push the narrative forward and showcase the journey that Pete, Ellie, Lizzie, Juan and Lita have to take in order to become a family.
While I went into Instant Family expecting nothing but a slick comedy, what I actually got was a thoroughly moving and heartfelt film concerning the idea of family and just what it means to us. Instant Family is an incredibly genuine film and Anders and his cast and crew really instil in the film a sense of the idea of family and just what it means to be one in this modern age. The film’s adoption plot will leave your heart melting and it makes the point that it doesn’t matter what you look like or who you’re related to, but that family ultimately comes from a sense of the love that we give to each other and the unbreakable bond that forms from it.
Packed out with laughs and love, Instant Family is a wonderful little gem of a movie that will have you giggling one minute and on the verge of tears at the other. Start your New Year right and see it as soon as you can because this one will really move your heart.
Image: Paramount Pictures