REVIEW: Heartwarming film ‘Instant Family’ covers full range of emotions


Courtesy Netflix

‘Instant Family’ explores the hardships and joys that come with being a foster family.

Alyssa Sbordone, Staff Writer

Filled with struggles along with good times, the movie “Instant Family” shows the journey of a  new family coming together after going through hard times of becoming new parents and instantly getting new parents.

“Instant Family” is a dramedy based on both the writer-director Sean Anders and his wife’s real-life experience of fostering and adopting three siblings. This movie is not only funny but also heartwarming and touching. The range of emotions you will feel throughout this movie is what makes it great.

This movie is about Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne), a married couple on their journey of fostering and trying to adopt three siblings. As they were talking to Ellie’s sister and husband about children and having a family, it got to Ellie.  She hasn’t even thought about kids and having a family or taking that next step in her relationship. She then decided to look into foster care, which broke her heart and inspired her to do something she never thought she would.

 Pete and Ellie decide to go through a foster parent training program and eventually meet many foster children, but one in particular catches their eye: a teenager named Lizzy, who they later find out, has two younger siblings.

Going from raising a dog to raising three children is a big adjustment and definitely not easy. Through many obstacles and hard times, they were able to pull it all together in the end and create incredible bonds. 

Anders is known for directing comedies such as “Daddy’s Home,” “Mr. Poppers Penguins,” and “Dumb and Dumber Two”. I knew this movie was going to be funny, but I didn’t realize how meaningful it was going to turn out to be. It is a perfect mix of emotions; you will feel happy, sad, angry, surprised, and more. 

The actors expressed their emotions to feel and look real. Wahlberg and Byrne convincingly showed the difficulties of being a foster parent, while the children did a great job portraying the complex struggles of being a foster child.

To see the bonds they create to then becoming a family is amazing. I loved the movie because it took a serious issue and turned it into a funny but touching film which made me grateful for what I have. Showing the hardships and joys of this “instant family” taught me a lot of things I didn’t know, such as how hard being a foster child or foster parent can be. If you are looking for a comedy that can also make you cry, this movie is perfect for you.