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“This is what we do; we’re fixer-uppers!” says fortysomething property developer Pete (Mark Wahlberg), not realising that damaged children are not quite the same as decrepit homes. He and wife, Ellie (Rose Byrne, always funny), have smugly decided to become foster parents, and the film sets about taking them down a peg or two, saddling them with a trio of siblings. There is surly teen Lizzy (Isabela Moner), sensitive and accident-prone Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and the screaming Lita (Julianna Gamiz); all three are Latino, though the film is careful to acknowledge the white saviour issue hanging over the family, even offering a wink to 2009’s The Blind Side, in which Sandra Bullock swoops in to offer an underprivileged African-American teenager a better life.
Writer-director Sean Anders and his wife are parents to three adopted children, and there’s a sense of verisimilitude and attention to detail regarding both the joys and the travails of foster care. Still, the tone is weird, seesawing between broad comedy (Tig Notaro and Octavia Spencer as hardened adoption agency workers) and manipulative melodrama (I hate to admit it, but a standoff between Pete, Ellie and Lizzy moved me to tears).
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Instant Family review – married with children… now | Film