Film Review – Fatherhood (2021)

Title – Fatherhood (2021)

Director – Paul Weitz (About a Boy)

Cast – Kevin Hart, Alfre Woodard, Lil Rel Howery, DeWanda Wise, Paul Reiser

Plot – When his wife tragically passes away not long after the birth of their first child, Matt Logelin (Hart) must learn to become a father and sole provider whilst juggling the everyday struggles of life as well.

You keep all these little victories like you had today in a little box inside you

Review by Eddie on 27/09/2021

Based on a touching true life memoir from Matt Logelin that details the firsthand experiences he had raising his first daughter when his wife tragically passed away, Netflix’s high profile release Fatherhood (that is in no way connected to the Parenthood franchise) see’s director Paul Weitz team up with a dialed back Kevin Hart to deliver a pedestrian affair that while having it’s heart in the right place, fails to make much of an impact as either a drama or a comedy seeped in real life scenarios. 

Starting out promising enough with Hart working in a similar space as he did with The Upside from a few years ago and showing off a different side to his smart talking persona that has established him as one of the modern era’s biggest comedic forces, Fatherhood suffers just as many other recent Paul Weitz films have also over recent times from a sense of by the numbers delivery and failed opportunities, as our initial interest quickly gives way to a struggle to stay engaged in a film that lacks the spark to make it fly. 

It’s hard to remember that at one stage Weitz was part of the creative duo behind comedy classics such as About a Boy and American Pie, with his last twenty or so years in Hollywood failing to inspire much in the way of content worth recalling and that lazy and lethargic direction is found throughout Fatherhood, with many ripe and potentially fantastic moments in Logelin’s parental struggles passing the film by to feel like nothing more than a checklist of familiar scenarios delivered in unsurprising and non-engaging ways. 

It’s a shame this is the case as alongside Hart Weitz had the talented Alfre Woodard, Lil Rel Howery and the rising star power of DeWanda Wise at his disposal but all these performers are underutilized in poorly designed side characters and uninspired scenes with Hart left too do the films heavy lifting through his restrained performance, that at times you wish was allowed a little more breathing room to create a more flavorsome offering that is too clean and workmanlike for its own good. 

Being based on a true story and being relatable to anyone that exists amongst a family unit, Fatherhood should’ve been something a little more than what we get here but as it stands it ends up being nothing more than another quickfire Netflix original that will gain some initial wins for the streaming service but quickly disappear into its growing back catalogue of watchable but low-level films. 

Final Say – 

While its nice to see Kevin Hart try his hand at something a little more meaningful and while the story at the heart of this tale is well-intentioned and pleasant, Fatherhood does nothing we haven’t seen before and was in dire need of more laughs or emotional highs. 

2 poker games out of 5  

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