Instant Family (AU - M/UK -12A/US - PG-13)

In a Word: Heartwarming

Instant Family

Rose Byrne stars as Ellie and Mark Wahlberg as Pete in 'Instant Family'.

 

"[T]his story explores the powerful force of unconditional love. It's a poignant reminder that love can be a choice and the impact is profound. Instant Family doesn’t sugar-coat the message and it's clear that the love of a parent is hard, heartbreaking and frustrating. Ultimately however, the high cost of love is worth it, as both the recipient and the giver are changed forever."

After the success of the two Daddy’s Home films, writer/director Sean Anders has once again reunited with Mark Wahlberg to explore the funny side of family dynamics. While Daddy’s Home focused on the drama surrounding competing step-dads,Instant Family explores the joys and challenges of suddenly becoming parents to a trio of adopted children.

When married couple Pete (Mark Wahlberg - Lone Survivor, Transformers) and Ellie (Rose Byrne - Damages and the most recent X-Men films) visit a fostercare centre, their lives are turned upside down when they find themselves compelled to begin the adoption process for three siblings, the plucky teenager Lizzie (Isabela Moner - 100 Things to Do Before High School and Transformers: The Last Knight), the accident prone Juan and the adorably cute infant Lita.

The clever script and sincere performances capture both the humour and heartache of parenting. There are scenes that every family can relate to - a disastrous family dinner, an emergency visit to hospital or the embarrassment of large family gatherings. Instant Family's twist on the family drama also allows for some less familiar situations including humourous support group meetings with other adoptive parents and an emotional custody battle with the birth mother. It is worth noting that some scenes are not suitable for younger audiences as a teenage sub-plot with Lizzie does involve sexting and hilarious mistaken identities.

All the laughter and tears provide good entertainment. But more importantly this story explores the powerful force of unconditional love. It's a poignant reminder that love can be a choice and the impact is profound. Instant Family doesn’t sugar-coat the message and it's clear that the love of a parent is hard, heartbreaking and frustrating. Ultimately however, the high cost of love is worth it, as both the recipient and the giver are changed forever.

It is clear this film has an agenda and the film credits include a website link to explore adoption. Movies with a message can often be overbearing, but when the moral of the tale is this powerful and the telling so entertaining, Instant Family is a message movie worth watching.