Mark Wahlberg- Pete
Rose Byrne- Ellie
Octavia Spencer- Karen
Isabela Moner- Lizzy
Wahlberg and Byrne decide to “Flip” their lives by fostering three kids in the new Comedy-Drama “Instant Family”.
Director Sean Anders (Horrible Bosses, Daddy’s Home) gives us a glimpse into fostering children based on his own experience and that of others he met as he went through the process in his latest Comedy/Drama “Instant Family”. Anders brings back Wahlberg from his Daddy’s Home films and puts him opposite the hilarious Rose Byrne as a couple that strive to be the next Chip and Joanna Gaines (Fixer Upper) flipping houses and doing home remodel.
Ellie (Byrne) is happily married to Pete (Wahlberg), they make a living flipping houses, enjoy free time on the golf course and is in constant competition with her younger sister Kim. Kim is trying to have kids and throws it in Ellies face that she will have the perfect kid and Ellie doesn’t even consider starting a family. That was until Pete makes a sarcastic comment on the golf course of adopting kids to have them be the perfect age in relation to their own. Pete doesn’t want to be the grandpa playing catch with his teenager.
Pete and Ellie assume that child adoption is as easy as flipping a house, so they decide to “flip” their lives and adopt a child. Pete and Ellie meet with Karen (Spencer) and Sharon (Tig Notaro), adoption councilors, that explain they must take classes and be evaluated and go through the Fostering process before they can adopt a child. Pete and Ellie’s first group session has everyone explain why they want to adopt, with the answers range from providing a loving home for a child from the gay couple to the woman that wants a boy she can mold into a football superstar that the class refers to as “Blindside”.
The next step was to enter the foster circus in the park where parents ran around and pick kids like you would select seats at a concert. Karen helps by pointing out some good candidates to Pete and Ellie explaining that no one wants the hassle of adopting a teenager and that is why they all hang out together like they are on the island of misfit toys.
Pete and Ellie select Lizzy (Moner) the teenager with attitude and find outs he is one of three kids that include a younger sister Lita (Julianna Gamiz) and brother Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) that Lizzy has always been the mother to. The kids’ real mother was a drug addict and in and out of jail on a regular basis. Enthusiastically Pete and Ellie do it and rescue the kids from Foster hell with a couple that look like in-breads and have the kids as slave labor.
Pete and Ellie bring the kids home and show them their new rooms and the house they are going to live in. Everything is great, but it is what they call the “honeymoon phase” according to Karen, and it passed, and Pete and Ellie’s project of flipping kids goes wrong! They are fires, broken noses, nails in feet and texting naked pictures, yes fostering is a piece of cake!
Flickanalysis: 5/5 car seats
Sean Anders cast the film perfectly with Wahlberg, Byrne and the kids as they have such great chemistry on screen. Instant Family also has a perfect balance of emotion during the film from laughing at the group therapy session for the parents as they spill their own horror stories about their foster kids to the heartwarming seen of Lita calling Ellie “Mom”. This is one of the best things Mark Wahlberg has done lately because he isn’t blowing stuff up or acting opposite a shape-shifting Volkswagen.
Instant Family is an “Instant Classic” film that shows the funny side of fostering children intertwined with the emotional moments that come with proving a home for a child in need. Instant Family is one of my favorite films of the year and I encourage you to put away the wands and see “Instant Family” this weekend!