Married couple Pete and Ellie Wagner, feeling a void in the marriage, visit a foster care center. Two social workers, Karen and Sharon, guide the hopeful parents on the steps to getting into becoming adoptive parents. The couples are brought to a fair where they have the chance to go up to kids that they are interested in adopting. Pete and Ellie walk by the teenagers, although Ellie shows hesitance over raising a teen, but one of the teens, Lizzie, informs Ellie that they all know no one wants to adopt the teens. Pete and Ellie talk to Karen and Sharon over potentially taking in Lizzie. The social workers inform the couple that Lizzie's mother is a drug addict who is currently in jail, and she set their home on fire because she left the crack pipe lit. It also turns out that Lizzie has two younger siblings, Juan and Lita. Although this seems like more of a challenge for Pete and Ellie, they agree to meet the siblings. Pete and Ellie have Thanksgiving dinner with Ellie's family, where...
Director Sean Anders has been known to make some very raunchy comedies so when hearing about his latest project I was wondering how this would play out. I have to say I had high expectations for this movie as it dealt with a heavier subject matter than any of his previous films. The best part about Instant Family is that it is inspired by Anders' real life family, and they always say "write what you know".
He definitely knows what he's writing here, and doesn't shy away from making audiences both laugh and cry while watching this family come together through some not so easy circumstances.
As always Mark Wahlberg is the macho man father we all know and love, but here we are able to see a different side of him. We are able to see some real emotion come from Wahlberg and it doesn't feel forced. I'm sure having a few children of his own helped with that while prepping his performance.
The real surprise in "Instant Family" is how funny the film is, and for the families watching it's no where near as rude or raunchy as Anders' previous work. There are a few risqué scenes here and there, but that's to be expected when dealing with teenagers. However these scenes are ultimately believable and aren't that over the top to bring down the feel good nature of the film.
Overall Instant Family was a real surprise, a light hearted comedy which shows the struggles some families go through in order to become one. The supporting cast of Tig Notaro, Octavia Spencer, and the always perfect Margo Martendale make Instant Family a true family treat. Hopefully director Sean Anders continues along the line of light hearted comedies as this may be his best film yet
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