Title – Instant Family (2018)
Director – Sean Anders (That’s My Boy)
Cast – Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Octavia Spencer, Isabela Moner, Margo Martindale
Plot – Middle aged married couple Pete (Wahlberg) and Ellie (Byrne) decide it’s time to have children and end up adopting troubled teenager Lizzy (Moner) and her two younger siblings. Pete and Ellie soon find out that raising a family is hard work.
“We might have a little bit of a knack for this”
Review by Eddie on 08/07/2019
Instant Family is the very definition of a Hollywood crowd-pleaser.
Based on a true story, which pretty much means about 1% of this movie is true, Sean Anders film is glossy and shiny thanks to it being lathered in a liberal dosing of schmaltzy, manufactured and often irksome so called heart and soul, cooked up in the kitchens of the Hollywood machine but while it’s in some ways inoffensive and easy to watch, it doesn’t help make Family a very good film.
Expecting a good film from the man responsible for directing such cinematic delicacies as That’s My Boy, Horrible Bosses 2 and not one but two Daddy’s Home films would be akin to expecting politicians to tell us the truth or for Uwe Boll to win an Oscar but thankfully Family isn’t “as” bad as some of Anders other efforts thanks to a hint of a beating heart and a nice message about family at its core.
The heart and soul of Family is the only thing saving it from becoming too much to bare, and co-lead Rose Byrne has that ability to always be engaging but for most of the time Family is so generic, predictable and genuinely not that hilarious that it’s hard to recommend a viewer spending 2 hours of their life witnessing such a pedestrian and by the numbers affair.
Sometimes these type of run of the mill films can be pleasing and tolerable and its never a bad thing to get what you expect but Anders and his stars struggle to make the most of the potential of this story to instead focus on over the top scenarios (school ground beatings) and annoying children (yelling about potato chips or constantly hurting themselves) and often losses sight of the simple things that would’ve endeared it to a much higher level.
Another big issue with the film is the presence of Mark Wahlberg.
A frequent collaborator with Anders thanks to the Daddy’s Home franchise, Wahlberg has once more with this performance as handyman father and husband Pete, found himself delivering another fast talking, wise cracking caricature that has been plaguing his career over the last 5 or so years.
We all know Wahlberg can act, we all know he can make a decent film but of late it feels as though the well-liked performer has resigned himself to easy wins, appearing in far too many films like Family that fail to raise much of a sweat for the well-paid star.
Final Say –
Sure to please many seeking light-hearted and even potentially heart-warming entertainment, Instant Family has its moments but a majority of its runtime is spent on generic, uninspired and eye-rolling material that’s been done countless times before.
2 music loving judges out of 5