FILM REVIEW: Instant Family

Don’t be fooled by the generic-sounding title – Instant Family is better than you expect.

The new comedy from the director of Daddy’s Home and Hot Tub Time Machine may look like any other shallow family laugh-fest, but it is filled with more heart and honesty than most dramas.

The film follows married couple Pete (Mark Wahlberg, The Italian Job) and Ellie (Rose Byrne, Bridesmaids) as they foster three siblings with the hope of adopting them.

The story is inspired by the real-life experiences of director Sean Anders and his wife – and the authenticity of the emotions comes through.

Going from zero kids to three overnight is no easy ride.

There are hijinks galore, from dramatic, tomato-sauce filled dinners to visits to the emergency room.

The children – Lizzy, Juan and Lita – all have their own issues and struggle to trust their new parents.

Young actress Isabela Moner (Sicario: Day of the Soldado) leads the pack as Lizzy.

She is fantastic and easily holds her own opposite her more experienced co-stars.

Dysfunctional: Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne star with young actors Gustavo Quiroz, Isabela Moner and Julianna Gamiz in Instant Family, rated M, in cinemas now.

Dysfunctional: Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne star with young actors Gustavo Quiroz, Isabela Moner and Julianna Gamiz in Instant Family, rated M, in cinemas now.

The biggest take-away from Instant Family is the importance of foster parents.

People who open up their homes and hearts to children who have suffered the trauma of being removed from their families are real-life heroes.

Instant Family shows that it’s far from a cake walk and raising children is terrifying, frustrating, tiring and more stressful than can ever be imagined.

But at the same time, the film also shows that giving your love to children who have been left behind and struggle to trust is the ultimate act of love and kindness and can make you feel complete.

For every laugh – and there are plenty, including slapstick comedy and people copping basketballs and baseballs to the face – there’s an unexpected emotional hit.

This is a movie that could genuinely make you laugh out loud and then wipe away some sneaky tears a minute later.

Instant Family also stars Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro, Margo Martindale and Joan Cusack, among others.

This one is definitely worth a watch – head to the movies and give it a go.

Rating: 8/10