FILM REVIEW: Instant Family

Don’t be fooled by the generic-sounding title – Instant Family is better than you expect.

The new comedy from the director of Daddy’s Home and Hot Tub Time Machine may look like any other shallow family laugh-fest, but it’s filled with more heart and honesty than most dramas.

The film follows married couple Pete (Mark Wahlberg, The Italian Job) and Ellie (Rose Byrne, Bridesmaids) as they foster three siblings with the hope of adopting them.

The story is inspired by the real-life experiences of director Sean Anders and his wife – and the authenticity of the emotions comes through.

Going from zero kids to three overnight is no easy ride.

There are hijinks galore, from dramatic, tomato-sauce-filled dinners to visits to the emergency room.

The children – Lizzy, Juan and Lita – each has his or her own problems and they struggle to trust their new parents.

Young Isabela Moner (Sicario: Day of the Soldado) leads the pack as Lizzy. She’s fantastic and easily holds her own opposite her more experienced co-stars.

Dysfunctional: Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne star with young actors Gustavo Quiroz, Isabela Moner and Julianna Gamiz in Instant Family, rated M, in cinemas now.

Dysfunctional: Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne star with young actors Gustavo Quiroz, Isabela Moner and Julianna Gamiz in Instant Family, rated M, in cinemas now.

The biggest take-away from Instant Family is the importance of foster parents. People who open up their homes and hearts to children who have suffered the trauma of being removed from their families are real-life heroes.

Instant Family shows it’s far from a cake walk and raising children is terrifying, frustrating, tiring and more stressful than can be imagined.

But at the same time, the film also shows that giving your love to children who’ve been left behind and who struggle to trust is the ultimate act of love and kindness and can make you feel complete.

For every laugh – and there are plenty, including slapstick comedy and people copping basketballs and baseballs to the face – there’s an unexpected emotional hit.

This is a movie that could genuinely make you laugh out loud and then have you wiping away some sneaky tears a minute later.

Instant Family also stars Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro, Margo Martindale and Joan Cusack, among others.

This one is definitely worth a watch. Head to the movies and give it a go.

RATING: 8/10

This story Comedy to make you cry first appeared on Camden-Narellan Advertiser.

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