REVIEW: Kevin Hart shows his heart with emotional performance in Fatherhood

GRAB A TISSUE: Kevin Hart plays a widower in Netflix comedy-drama Fatherhood.
GRAB A TISSUE: Kevin Hart plays a widower in Netflix comedy-drama Fatherhood.

WHO would have believed stand-up comedian Kevin Hart and American Pie director Paul Weitz would combine to produce one of the year's most emotional films?

While Hart (Ride Along,Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) has had an extensive film career, Weitz's adaption of Matthew Logelin's 2011 memoir Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love, has given the 41-year-old room to display his emotional range.

From the opening scenes Fatherhood is rooted in emotion. Hart plays Matt, whose world is instantly shattered when his wife Liz dies from a blood clot a day after giving birth to their daughter Maddy.

Matt is forced to navigate the foreign world of raising a newborn baby alone, while dealing with his grief.

Fatherhood is technically a comedy-drama, but the laughs are minimal and predominantly restricted to Matt's two goofy friends Jordan (Lil Rel Howery) and Oscar (Anthony Carrigan). Matt is merely focused on becoming the best father possible and fighting off the advances of his overbearing mother-in-law.

The film briefly deals with the prejudices single fathers can face, when Matt is initially ostracised by a mother's group and pressured by his family to allow women to care for his daughter.

Matt also has to overcome the modern dilemma of juggling work pressure and parenthood, but his solution of working from home with Maddy appears overly simplistic.

As Maddy grows - the second half of the film is set when she's six - the comedy and the emotion of Fatherhood diminishes as we plod towards a predictable ending.

Fatherhood is a touching and sweet film which will have you sobbing into your popcorn, but it's also unnecessarily bland.


Streaming on Netflix