Instant Family – Blu-ray/DVD Combo Edition

If you saw the film Daddy’s Home and enjoyed it then this one should be another film that entertains you. Actually this Sean Anders (That’s My Boy, Horrible Bosses 2) film better than that one and might be his best so far. It is equal parts touching and funny. Yes, the story is sometimes all over the place and rather predictable. But still an enjoyable watch.

Happily married, but still not completely fulfilled, Pete (Mark Wahlberg – The Fighter, Ted) and Ellie (Rose Byrne – Bridesmaids, Insidious) decide to become foster parents. They are beings helped through this process by two social workers, Karen (Octavia Spencer – The Help, Hidden Figures) and Sharon (Tig Notaro – In a World…, Walk of Shame). After first being hesitant, Ellie becomes attached to a teenage girl named Lizzy (Isabela Moner – Sicario 2: Soldado, Transformers: The Last Knight). Karen and Sharon tell Pete and Ellie all about Lizzy’s background – she is the child of an addict who is now in jail as she set the house on fire after she fell asleep while smoking crack. On top of all that baggage, Lizzy also has two younger siblings, Juan (Gustavo Quiroz – Peppermint) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz – appeared in episodes of Jane the Virgin).

While they are mulling over whether they should assume the responsibility of three foster kids, Pete and Ellie attend a family Thanksgiving dinner in which everyone is making comments about doubting whether they are equiped to take on three kids, Ellie, competively wanting to prove to her sister Kim that she can be a good parent, makes the decision to take in Lizzy, Juan and Lita.

After a short period in which it is going smoothly, things get pretty hectic. Then to further muddy the waters the kids’ mother Carla (Joselin Reyes – from television’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) reappears. She is out of jail and clean.

The entire cast does a good job. Besides those already mentioned you get smaller turns by the wonderful Margo Martindale (August: Osage County, Cars 3), Julie Hagerty (Airplane, Confessions of a Shopaholic), Iliza Shlesinger (Paradise), Eve Harlow (from television’s The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Michael O’Keefe (Caddyshack, Michael Clayton), and Joan Cusack (Grosse Pointe Blank, Working Girl).

This is based on a true story and probably very similar to many foster families’. A rather heavy issue and story uses heart and humour to tell its tale. A slight bit manipulative in its more poignant moments, but still a total crowd pleaser of a film. Plus it is a change of pace for Mark Wahlberg as it is not his usual testosterone fueled or crass humour picture.

Special Features:

-Digital Copy

  • Audio Commentary by director/writer Sean Anders and writer John Morris
  • Introduction by Sean Anders and John Morris
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes
  • Mr. and Mrs. Fix-It—Behind the scenes with Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne
  • Kid Power—Meet the talented young cast
  • I Need Some Support—Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro guide a group of parents through the laughter and tears of foster care
  • Order in the Court—Inside one of the film’s most heartfelt moments
  • The Families Behind the Fair—Hear from real foster families
  • Crew Inspiration—Crew members share their own foster care stories
  • The Anders Family—The real-life inspiration for the film
  • Isabela Moner “I’ll Stay” – Promotional Music Video
  • On Set Proposal—A surprising wedding proposal from one crew member to another

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