Instant Family is formulaic film making, split neatly into a four act comedy drama, that has been tried and tested in many other films of similar genre;1989s Parenthood immediately springs to mind.
To set the scene our young couple (Wahlberg and Bryne) decide to enter the world of fostering, inspired by a local adoption website and their need for something more from their relationship.
From here we dive into the world of foster training, selection, relationship building and family forming, edged with some superbly timed comedy, and heartfelt drama.
Instant family works to its formula brilliantly, at times truly shining in its ability to balance the serious nature of fostering and adoption with laugh out comedy. This is a film that means well from the outset, its messages are pure and clear; evident that real life experience sits at its base.
As a film it does not attempt to sugarcoat fostering and adoption. There are some moments that shine a light in the turbulence of a childhood spent in multiple families. These challenges are beautifully portrayed by the young Isabella Moner as the older sister and protecter of her young siblings. But despite these moments of challenge, there are also times where it feels over simplified due to its tried and tested genre and family age rating.
Performances are engaging, warm and tender, and even though you know this film will head towards its inevitable happy ending, the performances of the cast keep you emotionally engaged as well as entertained on the journey.
Instant Family’s messages on fostering and adoption are clear, concise and loving. They demonstrate and celebrate an admiration of those people (from all backgrounds) who give children in need the love, attention and warmth they deserve, no matter of the challenges.
This is a film that was never going to push the boundaries of cinema, but it does provide warmth, humour and an optimistic message that will have you leaving the cinema with a smile not a frown.
Formulaic comedy drama that offers a tender exploration of foster care and adoption. This film will make you laugh, cry and ultimately appreciate the good in our world.