What if your doctor told you that you would never be able to conceive a child? For many couples, this devastating news is like a knife through the heart. The countless other methods to figure out what to do next and the thousands of dollars spent for a possible miracle is exhausting, physically, emotionally and financially. Other times, careers take precedent and baby-making is an after-thought. It then simply becomes a matter of wanting a child before all those grey hairs start to sprout. The idea of “adoption” can be a scary word because it hits a cord of “but it’s not mine, it’s someone else’s kid!”
Instant Family was based off of director and co-writer Sean Anders real story of adopting three siblings out of foster care. The movie has tons of humour (thank goodness!) because some scenes will literally bring you to tears. It does balance well with a serious tone too. It sheds some light on the complications of adoption, such as when the birth mother comes back into the picture and wants custody, as well as the behavioural struggles that foster children go through. It also shows how many teenagers are left behind and “age-out” (which is a key part of the film – adopting a teenager and also her younger brother and sister) and put back into the foster care system. A majority of couples want to adopt a baby or at the most, a very young child.
The whole cast fit really nicely together. The case workers; Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro, as well as some of the other couples (and a single mom) who had their own stories to share were definitely comic relief. Plus, you have the multi-talented Mark Wahlberg, who is just a joy to watch on-screen and the surprise appearance of Joan Cusack. The ending with everyone was really touching too, with the perfect send-off of 80’s Starship’s epic song, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now. Yes it’s cheesy, yes it’s predictable and probably not the way most court cases would go, but who cares! The whole audience in the theatre was overtaken by emotion and for me, that makes this one wonderful movie.
There are plenty of reasons why adoption is not the right choice for everyone, but after seeing this film, perhaps you may find that one reason to know why it truly is.