I was curious to see how a film was going to portray a couple becoming an instant family by fostering three siblings. Also, the oldest sibling is 15, just like my son, and I know first hand this is not an easy age. I wanted to see how truthful the film would be in portraying the difficulties involved with fostering a teenager with two younger siblings. In between laughing and crying, I would say they did a very good job!
When Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) decide to start a family, they stumble into the world of foster care adoption. They hope to take in one small child but when they meet three siblings, including a rebellious 15-year-old girl (Isabela Moner) they find themselves speeding from zero to three kids overnight. Now, Pete and Ellie must hilariously try to learn the ropes of instant parenthood in the hopes of becoming a family.
Paramount’s INSTANT FAMILY is inspired by the real events from the life of writer/director/producer Sean Anders, also starring Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro and Margo Martindale, Julie Hagerty and Michael O’Keefe. Anders began writing INSTANT FAMILY with co-writer/producer John Morris in between their global smash hits DADDY’S HOME and DADDY’S HOME 2. In those two films, while delivering blockbuster laughs, the duo showcased their gift for presenting the nuances of the modern, blended family. With INSTANT FAMILY, Anders pushes the possibilities of the blended family, as the film’s lead character Ellie aptly puts it, “to next level shit.”
We spoke with Sean about his real life experience which is portrayed fairly honestly in the movie. He said there were a lot of Christians, and a lot of folks form the LGBTQ community that were interested in the foster care route. He remarked how well they all seemed to bond during the process, something we never read about it , as the media tends to portray these groups as in opposition to one another. It was heartwarming to hear that folks try harder to put the children first in these situations. These people from very different walks of life were able to bond over this “intensely life changing experience.”
It was great to meet Sean and share that I to was part of an ‘Instant Family.” and mine was through the adoption process.
As poignant as it is funny, as heartwarming as it is authentic, INSTANT FAMILY celebrates the notion that a family can come from anywhere. Opening Thanksgiving, INSTANT FAMILY is a comedy that teases your funny bone, tugs at your heart, sneaks up and surprises you, coaxes your tears, gets under your skin and moves in to live with you for a while, just like kids.
Ellie and Pete meet with their social workers (Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro) and find out that Lizzy is a good student but has resisted foster care. Octavia and Tig are as opposite as two people can be, and so are the characters they play. And they do it so well that many of us felt they would be perfect for the next female buddy movie. They were terrific together in this movie!
To their surprise, hey find out that Lizzy comes with two younger siblings, Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz) who Lizzy wants to care for herself. Lizzy and her siblings have been in and out of courts and placements in the foster care system, carrying their lives in one bag from house to house, the little ones collecting stuffed bears they are given in each court hearing. Lizzy is rebellious, skeptical, strong willed, at times manipulative and always unwilling to trust an adult. But, as Ellie remarks, “who can blame her?” Her younger brother Juan is fragile, accident prone, and a bit emotional — apologizing for himself all the time, fearing he will be sent away from another transient foster home. Lita, the youngest, is a wild, rowdy kid who tantrums, only eats potato chips and goes from sweet to Satan if she doesn’t get her way.
We also met the two actors who played the younger siblings during the interview, Julianna and Gustavo:
We asked each of them what was their favorite memory from the filming. Spoiler alert, Julianna said the ketchup scene (you will have to see the movie to see what this means!)! Gustavo was even funnier as his moment was the time they had Mexican food day.
It is a feel good movie that is excellent entertainment, I recommend it to everyone! Buy your Instant Family movie tickets right now on Fandango.com!
And of course, more celeb pictures from daddy Mitch, Rose Byrne and Mark Wahlberg: