Instant Family


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Instant Family
"Do you care? That’s asking a lot. The answer is not enough. Or, not at all."

If you can’t make your own, borrow. Or in modern parlance, adopt. Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) haven’t had kids. Too busy? Now in their forties it looks like it may be too late. Ellie finds an adoption site on the web and goes hot and cold, or rather hot all over, not for herself but for the children. Pete says no automatically and then when Ellie is out he sneaks a peek at the site.

You know what’s coming. The question is. do you care? Wahlberg has made a name for himself as an action hero. Not bad for Marky Mark of The Funky Bunch, a band that hit the punk scene with a vengeance. After advertising underpants for Calvin Klein in Times Square he was picked up as the new body for crunch cinema. Why not? Everything else seems to bang the gong.

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Instant Family comes in under the light comedy banner, grown ups being humiliated by juniors, hardly Marky Mark’s scene but most people want to be liked even for the wrong reasons. They find a teenage girl they like but she has a junkie mother who is in jail and two siblings who are not. They are older than you would expect and more sophisticated in disruption techniques.

Members of the family warn them that untrained kids from difficult homes behave badly, The more they say that kind of stuff the more Pete and Ellie are determined to go ahead. So what happens? They go ahead and it’s a tough ride. It has to be because why make the film otherwise?

Here’s the spoiler. Ready? They learn to love the kids.

Is that all? It’s enough when you meet them. Wahlberg and Byrne do well. The kids enjoy destroying the furniture. Do you care? That’s asking a lot. The answer is not enough. Or, not at all. The film wants to be positive about adoption.

Pull the other one.

Reviewed on: 18 Feb 2019
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Instant Family packshot
A couple run into trouble when they foster three kids.
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Director: Sean Anders

Writer: Sean Anders, John Morris

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Isabela Moner, Gustavo Quiroz, Julianna Gamiz, Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro, Tom Segura, Allyn Rachel, Britt Rentschler, Jody Thompson, Margo Martindale, Julie Hagerty, Michael O'Keefe, Joan Cusack

Year: 2018

Runtime: 118 minutes

BBFC: 12 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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