Instant Family: Byrne and Wahlberg Lead a Great Ensemble
Sean Anders’ Instant Family is a very good Sunday Afternoon Movie* and also manages to feature a lot of kids with problems without falling into the obnoxious child trope.** Movies about kids in foster care are few and far between*** and it was nice to see this human-scale comedy created by someone who has experience with the foster care system.**** Overall, this was a funny, breezy film with excellent performances by all***** and for people who have children, it’s probably that much funnier.
Recommended (although see all those notes below)
Cost: free from the Multnomah County Library
Where watched: At home with Matt, who also enjoyed it
Consider also watching:
- White Oleander
- The Blind Side (which is amusingly referenced repeatedly in this movie. I have a lot of problems with the white savior aspect, but there are things to like)
- Annie (I can only vouch for the 1982 edition)
- Oh! Channing Tatum plays a foster kid in Step Up! How could I have forgotten?
*Sunday Afternoon Movie: A pleasant movie where things are fine by the end, which is best watched before transitioning into the preparation for the workweek ahead.
**Bratty kids=movie killer for me. They aren’t funny, they are spoiled and annoying.
***I found this list called Foster Focus’ Top Twenty-Five Foster Care Movies and the definition of “foster care” seems to include orphanages, which is not what I’m talking about.
****Director Sean Anders has adopted three children from the foster care system. That said, I am a white female who has no experience with the foster care system and I can’t speak to how “true” this tale will feel to people who have had experience. The movie also includes discussions of race and white saviorism, albeit briefly and I’m not sure how those aspects of the movie would be experienced by other people.
*****I started listing the actors who really stood out and realized I was making a list of everyone in the movie.
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