THOUGH the story behind this movie is good, the message somehow gets lost in all the nonsensical things that the characters do about adopting foster children.
Though mostly based on director Anders and his wife’s real-life experience with adoption, the movie ends up being an over-the-top drama.
This is mostly because many of the story’s serious aspects are glossed over, and what should be a dramatic moment is reduced to slapstick.
Also, Joan Cusack (a talented actress who was once nominated for an Academy Award) makes a cameo appearance which seems to serve absolutely no purpose at all.
The movie begins with married couple Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) deciding to consider foster care adoption after a conversation with Ellie’s sister (Allyn Rachel) who has made the assumption that the couple are obviously never going to have children.
However, what makes them actually decide to go ahead and do it is not really explained clearly.
But the couple faithfully attend classes conducted by wise-cracking social workers (Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro) in order to qualify as foster parents.
Here you meet other parents-to-be who are quirky for quirky sake.
During a fair to meet some potential children they are likely to adopt, they become interested in a sharp-tongued 15-year-old teen called Lizzy (Isabela Moner).
However, Lizzy comes with siblings Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz) whom the couple decide to take in as well. As expected, all three children prove to be a handful in different ways.
As Pete and Ellie try to navigate through parenthood, they must not only contend with the children’s needs, but are forced to confront the reasons why they want to be parents to begin with.
Some aspects of the story will touch you emotionally, especially the way the US foster care system works and what sometimes happens to children who never receive the love and family stability they deserve.
Byrne’s character is interesting because she constantly tries to step up as a parent, but bears most of the brunt when things go haywire.
Intant Family is a fun watch at times but it could have been so much better.