As you know, this blog is not primarily for film reviews. Hence I cannot compete with Empire or Film Daily in terms of depth, but I can give you my personal highlights. These may grant you an additional insight into the film, without informing you whatsoever about its place in the cinematographic plane.This is a sacrifice I am willing to make.
Instant Family didn’t just exceed my low expectations; it obliterated them. It’s the kind of honest, human comedy that’s so rare from Hollywood these days that when one finally comes along, you sit there in the theater in slack-jawed amazement and wonder: How does a movie like this happen? ScreenCrush
When my friend Colin invited me to the preview of this much anticipated film, I must say I had reservations. Indeed, these are still pervasive as I look back with the luxury of retrospect. Plot-wise the film is predictable. You can predict the entire plot line from the first interaction in the opening cutscene. What struck me was the subtle musical warning denoting difficult scenes. At the start of each ‘tear-jerking’ scene, apt music streams out. Another point is that each of these said scenes are peppered with comedic moments, without which they would be totally devastating. This is another thoughtful point in the director’s favour. Also not to be missed is the inclusion of Julie Haggerty and Margo Martindale as mothers in law, the former being the firm favourite in Airplane!
That being said, there were many points in its favour, distinguishing it from the monotonous and facile Hollywood comedy which one expects to see. The overarching and most pressing of these points is Instant Family’s importance. Gustavo Quiroz jr; Julianna Gamiz and Isabela Moner play a role in the film as actors, and fine ones at that. But the impact that their emotive, gritty performances permeates the boundaries of a powerful plot.
Ultimately the movie champions unconditional familial love and perseverance and argues that kids coming from extremely difficult circumstances are still kids who deserve love and a chance to flourish. Common Sense Media
What Instant Family achieves is a true overview of the fostering system in the US. This insight is shown with the greatest of care and compassion. Director Sean Anders does not hide a painful truth behind comedy, he uses comedy in places to highlight a shockingly overburdened system. Equally, he shows what can be done to alleviate it, and the great successes that foster families can have, as well as the momentous difficulties they have in achieving said success. I recommend this film heartily.