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Instant Family

Opening Date
10 Jan 2019
NC16 Some mature content
118 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Sean Anders
Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Isabela Moner
When Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) decide to start a family, they stumble into the world of foster care adoption. They hope to take in one small child but when they meet three siblings, including a rebellious 15 year old girl (Isabela Moner), they find themselves speeding from zero to three kids overnight. Now, Pete and Ellie must hilariously try to learn the ropes of instant parenthood in the hopes of becoming a family. INSTANT FAMILY is inspired by the real events from the life of writer/director Sean Anders and also stars Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro and Margo Martindale.
By Flora  11 Jan 2019
Instant Family is a feel-good flick, inspired by a true story that promises the giggles, plenty of ‘ awwww ’ moments and the occasional tears. 
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Instant Family is a feel-good flick, inspired by a true story that promises the giggles, plenty of ‘awwww’ moments and the occasional tears. 

Director and co-writer, Sean Anders based the movie on his own experience of adopting three children out of the foster care system with his wife, Beth. Inspired by his own story, the movie shows us the honest and sad truth about the system, how people viewed the children there, as well as the journey of a foster parent. 

Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne play Pete and Ellie, married professional house flippers in Atlanta decided one day that they will consider foster care adoption instead. It was the look of the adorable children on the foster care website that sealed the deal. Both eager adults attend regular meetings with a diverse group of prospective foster parents where they share their progress with the children, as well as helping each other on their journey. At a foster fair, Pete and Ellie chanced upon a sassy teenage girl, Lizzy (Isabela Moner) who they felt was the best choice for a foster child. 

Lizzy has 2 other siblings, her little brother Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz) and she will only agree to foster care if the family takes in all three of them. While Lita looks like a cute angel and Juan a polite boy, the children start to show their monstrous side where Lita would shout and scream on top of her voice when she doesn’t get to eat chips of dinner; and Juan will cry and apologise profusely without during anything wrong. Lizzy, on the other hand, wouldn’t communicate with her foster parents and becomes more than a bit rebellious at school and at home. The family work together to solve their problems, often involving gaining the trust and respect from the children. 

Anders co-wrote the film with frequent collaborator John Morris, to pen this family comedy that manages to balance its pacing, with a slight satiric tone and of course, the heart-warming elements of the joy in having children in the family. Childrearing is never easy, much less when you have three kids who were deemed ‘leftovers’ by society. The film mocks at the parents’ self-satisfaction and questions the American foster care system. 

What makes Instant Family a win above the rest is its cast members, including the two younger child actors who create a ruckus at home, that to a certain extent, a very relatable situation for families who have kids. There is a certain attractiveness to Moner as the rebellious teenager. The actress and singer, who will be playing the titular role in Dora the Explorer Movie, is quite the familiar know-it-all teenager that we definitely came across in our lives. But it is Moner’s softer and vulnerable moments that she truly shines. 
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