Parenthood isn’t easy. Kids don’t come with handbooks; we all have to learn as we go along. The process is gradual, but if you’re lucky, you’ll be a pro by the time your second kid arrives. But for Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne in the film Instant Family, opening on November 16, things are a bit different.
When a couple played by Wahlberg and Byrne jumps right into parenthood by adopting three kids, they quickly realize they’re in over their heads. Even though their new life is difficult, they soon discover the elation that comes with raising a family.
Tickets are now on sale for Instant Family; here’s what the film is all about.
Diving In Head-First
Pete and Ellie believe they’re fully ready to be parents, and attend an adoption event for potential parents to meet foster kids. Since older children are commonly overlooked, Pete thinks they should consider a teenager.
It’s a good idea, but Ellie has concerns which are overheard by the older kids, including the 15-year old Lizzy. Pete and Ellie decide to adopt Lizzy, but there’s a catch — they need to foster her two younger siblings as well. Just like that, a couple becomes a family of three and then a clan of five.
The New Family
We know that Mark Wahlberg plays Pete, and Rose Byrne is Ellie. Isabela Moner, who will play Dora the Explorer in the live-action movie based on the Nickelodeon series, is Lizzy, the rebellious 15-year old who has been forced to act as a caregiver to her two younger siblings. Gustavo Quiroz is Juan, the middle child and the only boy in Lizzy’s biological family, while Julianna Gamiz is Lita, the youngest child.
Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro play the social workers who help guide Pete and Ellie through the foster care system. With their assistance, Pete and Ellie try to start off on the right foot with their new kids. Of course, it isn’t so easy.
Getting to know a teenage girl is difficult enough. Trying to raise one you just met may seem nearly impossible. Add in a few bloody noses while Pete and Juan play basketball in an attempt to bond, and soon frustrations fully set in. But when young Lita refers as Pete as “Daddy” for the first time, things start to change.
Based On A True Story
The most surprising aspect of this story is that it’s based on the real-life experience of director Sean Anders, who also directed Wahlberg in Daddy’s Home, and his wife. They, too, adopted a group of siblings after attending an adoption event. Anders spoke about the “adoption picnic” in an interview with Entertainment Weekly:
The adoption picnic that my wife and I went to was one of the craziest things I’ve ever been to in my life. You just don’t know how to engage in this situation … We’re not supposed to go up to kids who we don’t know and talk to them! The fact that they even have these events is so weird. It was a very uncomfortable event to attend, but at the same time, it was really good for us, because it was one of the first times where we could look around and just see all these kids.
Not only did Anders and his wife get the chance to give some of the children a home, but he also received the chance to share his experiences with the world through this movie. With Instant Family, Anders has the opportunity to share a good-natured tale with a bit of comedy mixed in. Parenting is never easy but it sure can be rewarding. There are low points but if things work out, the high points will standout as the lifelong memories.
Get tickets now for Instant Family, which opens on November 16.