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Film Review “Instant Family”

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The film "Instant Family" is based on the real and heart-rending experiences of the director, Sean Anders. 

Sean and his wife adopted three siblings who also happened to be Hispanic. It is from their glorious and inspiring story he and his writing partner, John Morris, created this film.


There aren’t many really good family movies produced these days. There’s a lot of animation movies, a lot of superhero movies, but not much at all for an entire family to see without someone being really bored, or having to leave halfway through with a scared toddler, or maybe because they have vertigo from all the handheld, first-person camera work. This all makes family outings to the movies either totally impossible or a mess of expensive disappointments.

“Instant Family” is one of those very, very rare exceptions...a movie that everyone, and I do mean everyone, from the awkward teenager to the grandad, from the preschooler to the exhausted and awsome mother, can not only enjoy but absolutely adore.


It has everything, pathos, comedy, slapstick humor, love, heartbreak and the kind of life-changing associations that you just can’t shake.

It’s kind of an American “Love Actually”…full of crazy families and situational, slightly adult humor, realistic, lifelike drama and out and out comedy... but with a lot of heart.  Of course, it helps that the cast is also phenomenal.  The movie features Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Isabela Moner, Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro, Margo Martindale, Julie Hagerty, Michael O’Keefe, Tom Segura, Rosemary Dominquez and Javier Ronceros - and a brilliant surprise cameo by the legendary Joan Cusack.  The supporting cast are equally fantastic and the filmmakers even included a few of the adoptive parents and families that inspired them to adopt themselves, kids and all, which was a lovely touch!

instant family

So what more can you ask for?  A wonderful script with insightful, clever and insanely hilarious reallife stuff... fully developed, powerful and diverse characters…and absolutely everyone touches the ball - getting a chance to be as funny and believable as the leads.  A cast to die for and a story that will make you laugh your butt off one minute and weep uncontrollably the next.   I have a feeling that "Instant Family" will be on our holiday movie list for decades to come. I absolutely loved it and everyone one I know who has seen it agrees -It's still in the theatres after 8 weeks!!! Definately the surprise hit of the year I think!!

As a side note…"Instant Family" the series?? Sean Anders, Mark Wahlberg and John Morris, are you listening?  This must happen…call me...


Director: Sean Anders

Writers: Sean Anders, John Morris

StarsMark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Isabela Moner, Gustavo Quiroz, Julianna Gamiz

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 1h 59m

GenresComedy, Drama

Read 741 times Last modified on Friday, 11 January 2019 15:35
Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
Writer, Filmmaker, Musician. Samantha has Produced over 60 short films and Written and Directed 20. She is the co-creator of 52 Films/52 Weeks and The Cinema Tribe Collective. She has written over 400 LA Theatre reviews and is partners in Xpress Records a Music Publishing Company in the UK.  This year she will be directing her first feature film which she also wrote, developing several others and is writing a children’s book. 

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