A Family That Happened Over Night


Gretta Alumbaugh, Staff Writer

Every foster kid dreams to have a family, when Pete and Ellie have a chance to foster three siblings, they take it. In the movie ¨Instant Family¨ Pete, played by Mark Wahlberg, and Ellie, played by Rose Byrne, decide to start a family and hope to take in one child but end up having three by overnight. When they meet the rebellious 15 year old, they decide to take the challenge to be the kids foster parents.

Pete and Ellie attend a foster fair which they meet the 15 year old, Lizzie, played by Isabela Moner, and decide they want to get to know her. After finding out she has two younger siblings, Juan and Lita, they meet the current foster parents and then take them under their care. The kids were taken away from their birth mom when they were young because she was a drug addict and then they were put in to the foster system. Lizzie, Juan and Lita have different battles but Pete and Ellie learn how to cooperate with each one.

After many group meetings with other foster parents they realize that being a foster parent isn’t as easy as it seemed. The kids struggle to meet Pete and Ellie’s wants and needs but with practice and time, they grow to adjust. Juan and Lita adjust quickly but Lizzie doesn’t want Pete and Ellie to be her parents. She gives her foster parents a constant battle by attempting to run away, makes bad choices with her friends, constantly lies and does not accept the fact that they care for her.

A couple months after being under Pete and Ellie’s care, the birth mom finishes her time in jail and Lizzie request to see her. Pete and Ellie let the kids visit their mom four times before realizing that their attitudes towards them are changing. The mom attempts to get custody of the kids and the family bond is put to the test.

The ¨Instant Family” is a feel good movie that will bring you to tears and laughter.  The characters have depth and show how someone’s journey can change their outlook on life.  With structure and love, a couple learned how to bring in three struggling kids and create a family.