Kathy Vs. T.K.’s Review of INSTANT FAMILY – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 59 mins.

Instant Family Poster

INSTANT FAMILY – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 59 mins.


WRITER:  John Morris

STARRING:  Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro, Margo Martindale, Isabela Moner, Gustavo Quiroz, and Julianna Gamiz

When married couple and house flippers Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) find themselves living a great life, but not a fulfilled one…as they have yet to have any children, a smirk comment from Pete leads to Ellie contemplating they become Foster Parents…

Starting classes to check out what “this fostering thing” is all about, Pete and Ellie meet Social Workers Karen (Octavia Spencer) and Sharon (Tig Notaro), as they both explain, in no uncertain terms, what this new life they are contemplating is all about…

Still intrigued by fostering, Pete and Ellie attend an Adoption Fair, where the meet sweet, yet sassy teen Lizzy (Isabela Moner).  Intrigued by this child, Pete and Ellie set forth to meet her, and agree to foster her, only to find out she had two other siblings, Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz), who are in need of a foster home too…

Well, taking on three children at once changes the dynamic “just a bit”, but as Pete and Ellie soon find, these children are all unique and precious in their own way…finally filling their home with lots of turmoil, but most importantly LOVE…

When Pete and Ellie must face that the children’s Mother may be coming back into their lives, and going back to live with her, they finally realizing that fostering can be one emotional roller-coaster, they neither of them truly prepared themselves for…as they now love these children as their very own…

I give INSTANT FAMILY a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN!  From its laugh out loud comedic tone one minute, to its heart-wrenching scenes the next – this film, inspired by Director/Writer Sean Anders own life is a definite MUST SEE for EVERYONE!  Anders previous work with Wahlberg in films such as DADDY’S HOME & DADDY’s HOME 2 is apparent with this performance, as Walberg manages to play the cool, yet sometimes gruff, but always with a heart of gold Father figure to absolute perfection.  Byrne is also as equally spectacular, playing the new mom, who wants nothing more than for her three new children to live a fabulous, yet somewhat structured life.  Add in the exceptional performances by Isabela Moner, playing the pain-in-the-tooshie teenager Lizzy, and the Grandmother we all want to have in our families – Grandma Sandy – played by Margo Martindale, and you have one fabulous family film that will tickle your funny bone, and break your heart, all in the blink of an eye.   I was so happy that Anders decided to share his families story, and the story of many other foster/adoptive families too in this world, making INSTANT FAMILY “the film” that I have been waiting for all year! INSTANT FAMILY’s extreme realism and comedic take on life as well, ended up bringing nothing but sheer joy to this adoptee’s soul, throughout each and every frame!  If there is just one film that you see with the entire family in tow this weekend…Make it INSTANT FAMILY…as its everything I shared, and so much more!!!

Kathy Kaiser 


This humble opinion is brought to by you T. K. Edwards


Director by:  Sean Anders

Cast:  Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Octavia Spencer, Isabela Moner, Julie Hagerty

A couple finds themselves in more trouble than they can handle when they decide to adopt a 15 year old girl and her two siblings.


INSTANT FAMILY is not what you expect it to be especially from its director Sean Anders.  All of his films have been goofball comedies, but this one he dug down deep, wrote from the heart and directed a movie that hits close to home for him because he took from his own life and family experiences.  From all of the trailers that you see or have seen, INSTANT FAMILY has more of a comedy vibe to it rather than the dramatic one you’ll actually get when you see it for the first time. I have a theory for this and I’m going to call it, “The Quantum Theory of Mark Wahlberg and his Effect on Relative Comedy”…LOL (that was fun to write).  Basically, my theory is this…the “problem” (and I’m using INSTANT FAMILY as my example in this case) is Mark Wahlberg. Not because he’s bad in this film, that’s not it at all. The problem with Mark Wahlberg is that he either does a big action movie or a zany comedy, there really is no in between film. And because of this, when you see him in a comedy/drama (like INSTANT FAMILY) your brain immediately fills in the poop and fart jokes.  Like whn you read a sntence wth some of the ltters mssing, your brain jst fils thm in (LOL…that’s kinda cool huh?…see, not only do I like to inform, I also like to teach in my movie reviews as well). Later, if you read this article to the end, I will give you another BRAIN TEASER you can ponder as well, but for now – back to “The Quantum Theory of Mark Wahlberg and his Effect on Relative Comedy” (that is the last time I’m writing that, I promise).  I actually love Mark’s first real attempt at a movie comedy (The Other Guys), but it wasn’t because of him. He played his part and had some funny lines, but that movie was all Will Ferrell, (btw, so was DADDY’S HOME 1 & 2). Same goes for TED 1 & 2. Mark was backup to the CGI bear and he did the best he could as a comedic actor. Now we see him in INSTANT FAMILY and this appears to be another one of his lame comedies, only this time he doesn’t have Will Ferrell or a talking bear for backup.  This time he’s alone and your brain has to decide whether or not he can fill the blanks left by all those others that carried his weight in his past comedy hits. The problem this time around with INSTANT FAMILY is that this is not another one of his cornball comedies. Anders actually wants his audience to take this movie serious, which is why the casting of Wahlberg doesn’t fit the bill this time around and takes away from the watching experience. Everyone else in the film does a great job. I love Rose Byrne.  I think she is very talented and goes under the radar quite a bit in movies. As for the rest of the cast’s performances, I have no complaints. Good job all around. This is a fun movie and although I’m not going to tell you to see it in theaters, I will say it is worth your time to watch it at home. Until next time, thanks for reading.

P.S. – There is no post credit scene, but as promised here is another BRAIN TEASER: If Pinocchio says, “My nose will grow now” it would cause a paradox.  Mnd Blwn!!! LMAO

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