Film Review: Instant Family

Sean Anders’ family comedy stars Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne as a couple who decide to foster three children, and it follows them through the journey, I’m pleased to say it was a journey which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Not only is this film a solid comedy for all the family, it’s also a very touching tribute and celebration of all the people in the world that decide to foster/adopt children. I was pleasantly surprised by how moving I found this film to be, there are some genuinely emotional moments which will undoubtedly have some of the softer audiences in tears.

There are solid performances throughout and the cast is extremely strong, with some big names present. But I think a special mention has to go to Isabela Moner, who plays the eldest of the three siblings, her performance is fantastic and you know that she is going to have a bright future in the industry. She perfectly captures the conflict and the ranging emotions that any child in her situation would be feeling, at times you forget she is a child herself as she has had to be the mother-figure to her much younger siblings as they go through the care system. She’s got a hard exterior, but as her character develops she gets to express her vulnerable side a bit more and it leads to some very captivating moments. All of the performances are great, but I feel she was the stand-out.

As I said, I was pleasantly surprised by how deep and moving this film is, but it is still at its core a feel-good family comedy, and luckily the film succeeds here too, there are quite a few laugh-out-loud moments and you’ll find yourself with a smile on your face on multiple occasions.

If I was going to criticise anything, I would say that the runtime was unnecessarily long, I think a good 15/20 minutes could have been shaved off this film and it wouldn’t have lost any of the impacts it had. It’s a minor qualm in the grand scheme of things, and it didn’t hinder my overall enjoyment of the film, but I do think some younger audiences might get a bit restless during the 2 hours. 2 hours might not seem long when looking at other releases out there, but for a family comedy, I don’t think it’s necessary, and I believe between 90 and 100 minutes is the perfect length for a film in this category.

But overall, Instant Family was pretty good. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would and it’s got something for everyone here. You’ll laugh, you’ll smile, you’ll possibly cry, you might even come out wanting to foster/adopt a child! I’d certainly recommend giving it a watch.

Finally, shout-out to all the people out there that do foster/adopt children who are in need of a loving family. This film highlights the amazing things that you do and it truly is inspiring. Respect!

I give Instant Family a 7.5/10. 

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