“Instant Family” Manages to Get It Right, Eventually

In the adoption comedy Instant Family Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne agree to foster and adopt three minority children (Isabela Moner, Gustavo Quiroz, Juliana Gamiz) who are caught in the intricacies and sometimes unfairness of the juvenile justice system.

There is the usual speechifying, rough edges smoothed, easily resolved traumas and complication, but at its core Instant Family is reasonably honest and heartfelt for a Hollywood family comedy. The purpose of Instant Family is to foster more adoptions so light is everywhere and good intentions, love, patience, awkwardness are the eventual winners.

The kids effectively reflect the pain, the abuse, the wariness of a system that has too many fostering for the buck. The gratitude for their finding parents willing to stick with them through everything comes off as particularly well earned.

Wahlberg and Byrne are particularly good as the well meaning, intentioned parents who find a certain maturity in the rearing process and great joy in hearing their first mommy and daddy endearments. Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro as the adoption counselors provide the right amount of tag team optimism/gravitas and emotional encouragement to get this Instant Family through to the required heart warming ending.

Everyone in Hollywood knows the hard work and time required to become an instant success. Instant Family reflects that ethos and reality. It knows that everything can be achieved with hard work and a strong belief in themselves.

All photos and videos courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

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