I’m surprised that a movie that supports the adoption process was released from Hollywood, a place that only seems to support the idea of abortion. Well, don’t get too happy because the film is written and directed by Sean Anders, the man responsible for such smash hits as Daddy’s Home, Daddy’s Home 2, and Horrible Bosses 2…It’s a real shame because Instant Family is a film that had some real potential and could have been so much better if the creative process was placed in different hands.
Instant Family is a story about a middle-aged childless couple whose relationship is stuck in a rut. Instead of having kids of their own, they decide to look into the adoption process and with rose-colored glasses, they bring home not one, not two, but three children including the dreaded teenager (Isabela Moner). It doesn’t take long for the honeymoon period to be over as our couple it smacked down with the reality of how difficult it is to raise three kids, especially three kids that aren’t yours.
Right away you notice that the film has major issues with the tone because the first 10 minutes is all over the place with ‘comedy’ that pokes fun of the outdated stereotypes of couples looking to adopt. The gay couple, the Christian couple, and the woman looking to find a future NFL star to cash in on a payday just like in The Blind Side (no really, they reference the film BY NAME many times). You have to swim through this river of tropes before you get to anything resembling a human film, which you would figure the director being an adopted father of three himself would handle with more care.
The noblest aspect of the film is the message that trouble kids are not damaged goods and are deserving of a loving home. That alone makes the film too hard to completely hate, it’s a charming cast with its ultimate goal to raise awareness and maybe inspire some of its viewers to give kids a chance as well is much appreciated and supported as well. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that this is supposed to be a comedy film and ‘comedy’ works against that narrative rather than support it. The verdict here is clear, Instant Family while it delivers some smiles would have been far better off being a more serious and sincere film than what it is.