“Instant Family” is an Instant Love

Instant Family offers a heartwarming story inspired by writer and director Sean Ander’s fostering experience.



Parents Pete and Ellie enjoy an ice cream sundae with their foster kids Lizzy, Juan and Lita.

Kaitlin Lyman, Reporter

   Based on an inspiring true story, “Instant Family” released Nov. 16, warms the hearts of viewers as couple Pete and Ellie, played by Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne, take the plunge into parenthood as they adopt three children to fill the empty spaces in their lives.

   The forty-something couple lives and breathes what they do best, flipping houses. They make good money, create beautiful homes, and move through life with no complications. Until Ellie’s younger sister Kim makes her assumed statement, ”You guys are obviously never having kids”, which caused Ellie to question why she and Pete never started a family. After Ellie takes a few scrolls through a foster care website, viewing several profiles of kids of all ages, she fell in love with the idea of fostering a child. It took some convincing for Pete, but once he saw the sweet faces of the kids on the website, he was in.

   To start the process, the couple took a required eight-week foster care certification course, where they learned what it means to be a parent. After a short eight weeks, the program ends with an adoption fair. Where others may call this shopping for kids, the fair is about connections and finding the perfect fit between parents and their foster child.

During their certification process, Pete and Ellie learn some sobering facts about teens in the foster system. Millions of teens “age out” of the system every year leaving them with a 50/50 chance of either living a normal life or becoming homeless. Knowing this, Pete suggests he and Ellie take on a teen.  Ellie disagrees, to her teens are trouble. As the couple is unaware they decided to have this loud conversation in front of an audience, a teen girl interrupts their arguments to say, “Just so you know, we can all hear you”.

   Viewers now meet Lizzy, a spunky 15-year-old, who comes from a household of an active drug-using mother who leaves her daughter to regularly take care of her two younger siblings Juan and Lita.

   Leaving an impressing on Pete and Ellie, the couple decides to foster all three children. After almost a year of highs and lows of learning how to parent a bratty teenager, a disobedient little girl and a loving but not so bright tween boy, while dealing with drama and continuous disbeliefs in their parenting skills, Pete, Ellie, Lizzy, Juan, and Lita, instantly become the family they were always meant to be.    

Instant Family brings a true story to the big screen that everyone needed to see. Delivering all types of emotions throughout the film, with comical jokes, sentimental moments and many expected arguments during the beginning stages of parenting. This movie proves that all families are not perfect and not all parents are perfect. Filled with many relatable moments this is a perfect movie for parents and their teens to enjoy.