REVIEW: Instant Family is insanely charming

When the trailers for this film graced cinema screens, like most, I was underwhelmed.

Anyone who has sat through a Mark Wahlberg Christmas release comedy the last few years knows that Daddy’s Home and its sequel aren’t exactly high art.

While his affable charm and rugged masculinity can carry him through most things, I just didn’t expect Wahlberg to make it out of Instant Family without a tarnished rep.

And yet, I can totally, unequivocally say that Instant Family — and stars Rose Byrne and Wahlberg — make for a resounding success and a heartfelt, if not completely hilarious, film about a tough topic.

Centralized on two aging people who adopt three foster kids and try to make a home for them, this film toes the line between the dramatic and the you-laugh-so-you-won’t-cry situational comedy.

This is an emotional ride with some wonderful comedic elements, two central performances that prove the charms of Wahlberg and Byrne can elevate all material, and a family dynamic you can’t help but root for.

Instant Family isn’t an instant classic, but it sure is one heck of a holiday movie.

If you don’t get the Grinch, Smallfoot is too small-scale, and the fantasy of Fantastic Beasts doesn’t suit your fancy, trust me, you can count on this family.

4/5 Stars 

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