Instant Family was a poignant, touching comedy I was recommending all through the holidays. Yes, it delivers the Mark Wahlberg family comedy you’d expect from the creator of Daddy’s Home, but it also goes pretty deep into the difficulty of adoption on both sides, for the parents and the foster kids. I hope more people discover it on Blu-ray.
It’s a studio family comedy so the Blu-Ray looks polished. Every living room, playground, picnic, school or even hospital looks glossy with great lighting and production design. It works. They slip the message into this safe glossy package.
There are tons of bonus features and most of them relate the movie to the real foster system with which writer/director Sean Anders has experienced. There’s a feature on the support group in the movie, so Anders talks about the real support groups. Same with the family court scene, the adoption fair and more.
Real foster families are well represented and all their stories are equally touching. That’s real bonus content, giving us more touching stories than could fit in the movie. Anders and his wife tell their true story. Seeing the kids audition and do interviews is adorable.
Deleted scenes have some sweet and challenging moments. There are probably infinite examples but they can’t all go in the film. The commentary with Sean Anders and co-writer John Morris lets Anders go into more detail. The story of Eve Harlow meeting the woman who inspired her character is touching, the realities of foster kids who’ve survived abuse and some filmmaking anecdotes too.
They’re DVD commentary fans so want to be as informative as the ones they learned from. They go into detail about managing kids’ schedules, using fake food and grills, shout-out to the line producer, the influence of Parenthood and what they learned from Farrelly brothers commentaries.