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12 Mar 2019

Home Video Review: 'Instant Family' Is More Than Just a Run-of-the-Mill Family Comedy

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Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne and Isabela Moner in Instant Family. Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne and Isabela Moner in Instant Family.

While Instant Family might have the look of a routine family comedy, it is anything but: This movie is funny from start to finish, and it packs a couple of emotional punches, too.

Couple Pete and Ellie (Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne), might, just might, want kids, so they decide to look into adoption. Their quest lands them a 15-year-old foster child named Lizzy (the excellent Isabela Moner) and her two younger siblings, Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz).

Everything goes just fine … until one hilariously apocalyptic scene, when Pete and Ellie are given a nice dose of parenting reality, and realize they have much to learn. Turns out Lizzy is a bit of a rebel; Lita is a screamer; and Juan is a sensitive, accident-prone little chap. Will they be willing to adopt the kids in the end?

Wahlberg excels in this sort of comedy—he and director Sean Anders also teamed up on Daddy’s Home—and Byrne is definitely carving out her own comedic niche with films like this and Neighbors. The kids are great; the script has a lot of surprises; and this one turns out to be a genuinely good time.

Instant Family is available via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.com, as well as DVD and Blu-ray.

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