“Instant Family” stars Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Isabela Moner, Gustavo Quiroz, Julianna Gamiz, Margo Martindale, Julie Hagerty, Tig Notaro, and Octavia Spencer. Released on November 16, 2018, the film is about a couple who decided to start a family with three adoptive siblings.
The film is directed by Sean Anders, who also directed films such as “Never Been Thawed”, “Sex Drive”, and “Daddy’s Home”. There are many ways to define the meaning of “family”. This film depicts one of them. I’m always a sucker for films that deal with family, especially the Fast and Furious franchise. They always show that family is not just about people who share the same blood. It’s also about the people who love and support one another even though they’re not related to one another. This latest comedy from director Sean Anders hopes to continue this heart-warming trend by having a husband and wife duo deal with foster-care adoption. The film also marks the third collaboration between Anders and Wahlberg, following “Daddy’s Home” and its sequel, which tells me that this one could go in either direction. From the looks of the film’s marketing, it sounds like they’re going in the right direction in terms of the humor and the story, but does that make it a definitive recommendation for everyone? Well, yes.
If you’ve been following Anders’ filmography for quite some time, you might have noticed that his comedies, either as a director or a writer, haven’t exactly hit their marks with their humor and storytelling. Whether they’re funny to their audiences or not, they always tend to be either mediocre or just plain forgettable. Then, this film came along and it’s surprisingly quite good. In terms of the comedy and the cast, I think this is Sean Anders’ best work in his career, both as a director and a writer. Another important reason why is the amount of passion that’s been put into this film’s concept. Not only does it display its heartfelt message about the importance of family, but it also displayed the normality of foster-care parenting with dignity and intelligence. It’s far from a perfect representation, but its heart was definitely in the right place. Mark Wahlberg delivered another solid performance as Pete Wagner, and Rose Byrne offered a few good moments as his wife, Ellie, but the real star of the movie is young Isabela Moner as one of the foster siblings. I know I might’ve said this before, but I believe she’s got a great future ahead of her as an actress. The film’s attempt at providing both humor and drama was also surprisingly effective. There was an equal amount of hilarity and heart that’ll get audiences laughing and crying all the way to the end credits. There were times where the film’s tone went from family drama to comedy and vice versa, but it knows how to maintain itself without going overboard with its jokes and its sappy scenes. The film also ran a bit longer than it should, clocking in at around two hours. While the pacing was suitable for this type of length, the running time can be a bit of a chore for those who aren’t into these types of films.
Overall, Aside from its length and its flawed representation, “Instant Family” is a hilarious and heartwarming film that’ll resonate with almost everyone. Due to its likable cast, humor, and the amount of respect towards the concept, this is another “family-related” film that I wouldn’t mind watching over and over again. I would recommend it to those who enjoy watching feel-good films that display both humor and heart.