A couple of months ago I watched this Joe Rogan podcast with Sean Anders (Sex Drive, That’s My Boy) and Tom Segura talking about their new movie and here it is finally. After you checked out the movie you can check out that podcast for more details and a lot of fun since both of them were great. Instant Family is a movie loosely based on events that really happened to Sean Anders and his wife when they decided to adopt three kids. At first, I had certain doubts about this movie, mostly because I was expecting the same Hollywood drivel that I was used to skipping, but this was a totally different experience.
Cleverly written and without much emotional milking, this is one of those heartwarming comedies with a deeper message. Many will find this mixture of comedy and real human drama something that’s strange, but I think it was a great fusion. After those difficult scenes where you’re thinking about all the shit that’s going on in the world, you get a little break and a little laugh, probably to help you deal with these issues. Why everything has to be in this serious tone and why we should be feeling like pieces of shit? This is that standard-issue one-dimensional thinking where you are less likely to take any actual action. However, we humans are capable of thinking in multiple dimensions and there’s nothing wrong with mixing comedy and drama.
Meet Pete and Ellie Wagner had a feeling that something was missing from their lives, especially when their friends practically told them so. Wondering about kids and the whole parenting thing, they decide to adopt a child. However, when they actually go through the process they end up adopting three siblings. This will mean huge changes in their relatively comfortable life and challenges that may seem too difficult to face…
When it comes to casting and acting, beautiful and very talented Rose Byrne nailed her part and while I had doubts about Mark Wahlberg, he was really good with his subdued performance that was pitch-perfect for the role he was playing. Kids were also great, along with Tom Segura who proved that he might be the best comedian actor and that he’s definitely better than Louis CK, at least when it comes to acting (I wouldn’t dare compare their stand up routines).
The whole movie feels very authentic and since there are so many crappy “family” movies, this one’s actually quite good. And the subject of the adoption is something that we need to have a discussion in this society, as with so many other things. Finally, the pacing was a bit uneven and plot a bit predictable, but all this fits in well with the general vibe of the movie where you are actually expecting these things. They create this framework or environment where you can explore your feelings and experiences of other people without the emotional impact that comes with more intense movies.
Director: Sean Anders
Writers: Sean Anders, John Morris
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Tom Segura, Tig Notaro, Allyn Rachel, Isabela Merced, Gustavo Escobar, Julianna Gamiz
Fun Facts: John McConnell and Maureen Brennan who play Mr and Mrs Muskie are actually married in real life.