Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

‘Instant Family’ warms hearts for the holidays

The ‘Instant Family’ story is partially based on director Sean Andrew’s experience with his own family and revolves around Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) who are a happily-married couple who own their own house flipping company.

However, they have been so busy that they have not wanted to have any kids. Now, business is good, and Ellie is ready to be a mom. Pete doesn’t want to be an “old dad,” and he jokes they should adopt.

Ellie doesn’t take it as a joke,—and they end up signing up to be foster parents. Instead of ending up with the one foster child they had originally planned on, Pete and Ellie end up with a “sibling set” of one teenager and her two younger siblings.

With the help of a foster parent support group and their own family members, Pete and Ellie try to learn the ropes of instant parenthood and how to become a family.

I loved the feel-good vibes I got from this movie. It was really tailormade for the holiday season, when many reflect and give thanks for those people who are closest to them.

‘Instant Family’ is a feel-good movie that not only has its heart in the right place, but its brains as well. Overall, it was a great heartwarming movie that brought me both tears and laughter.

The cast of the movie was very good. Wahlberg and Byrne made a great comedy couple. I thought they made a believable couple and they also added a lot of humor to the movie.

There was one scene were Pete tried to compare adopting a foster child to adopting a puppy or fixing up a house and the way his wife shut his bad metaphors down was hilarious.

The children of this instant family were Lizzy (Isabela Moner) the disillusioned and rebellious teen, and her two younger siblings Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz).

The younger family members especially brought a lot of comedy to the movie since they did some crazy things throughout the film, while still having believable relationships with their foster parents.

It was very heartwarming to see the foster children grow—such as the first time the kids called Pete “dad.”

The social workers that led the foster parent support group that Pete and Ellie attended were Karen (Octavia Spencer) and Sharon (Tig Notaro). They were an important part of the movie because they reminded the foster parents of what the kids might be feeling.

Karen and Sharon were the perfect combination of actual advice about being a family and jokes about not taking yourself to seriously. Actresses Spencer and Notaro together were incredibly funny.

‘Instant Family’ is a reminder of the importance of love The movie doesn’t promise that everything will “instantly” be all right for the kids, but instead is a reminder of what love can do.

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‘Instant Family’ warms hearts for the holidays