Instant Family is about a middle-class couple with no children, who are re-evaluating their lives. He (Mark Wahlberg) is a contractor who buys and flips houses. When they investigate adoption, they find out that the first step is becoming foster parents. They go through the training and eventually, at a big meet-up picnic, find a 15-year-old girl who comes with two smaller siblings. And thus starts the adventure of a white working class couple picking up an instant family of three Latino kids.
The foster parent community is a special one, and it has its challenges. Natural parents can show up all of a sudden, and the kids you have just gotten used to could be taken away from you overnight.
Instant Family is a better movie than I expected it to be. There is some slapstick like humor that is a bit over the top, but it’s tastefully done. It puts a spotlight on the plight of children who either have no parents, or whose parents are so unreliable that the kids need to take care of themselves. It’s a part of our society that we don’t really think too much about unless we’re in the middle of it.
The human drama comes through, and it brought out a few tears as the story progressed. I am glad I watched Instant Family. It entertained me, I learned, and it pulled me in emotionally. At the end, it was wonderfully, if predictably, satisfying.
One thought on “Movie Review: Instant Family”
Great review. I’ll have to see this movie. Asking people who have never had children to take on three kids 15 and younger is a big ask.
My mother was a foster parent for a few years. We only had children for a few months at most before they moved on. I never really got to know them much as they were much younger than me. Some were infants. It’s been years and years since I thought about it. I wonder what they are doing now.