Saturday, January 2, 2016

Daddy's Home [2015]

MPAA (PG-13)  CNS/USCCB (L)  ChicagoTribune (3 Stars) (2 Stars)  AVClub (C+)  Fr. Dennis (3 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (K. Jensen) review
ChicagoTribune (K. Walsh) review (G. Kenny) review
AVClub (J. Hassenger) review  

Daddy's Home [2015] (directed by Sean Anders, story by Brian Burns screenplay by Sean Anders, Brian Burns and John Morris) is not exactly a kids movie (though _very_ strictly speaking there's little that would particularly disturb or offend most kids).  However, it seems clear to me that the film's intended audience are the adults perhaps particularly those who find themselves in "blended family situations."

I write this because the film is actually about the insecurities of a step-parent, in the case at hand of Brad Whitaker (played actually quite well by Will Farrell).  He is the super-responsible if inevitably nerdy (seriously, he works for "Radio Panda - Satellite Radio's 24 hour continuous slow jazz" ;-) second husband of Sara (played by Linda Cardellini).  Her _really cool_ if truly never-at-home, doing truly "only God knows what" (again seriously, he seems to have been some sort of a gun-running 'copter pilot for the CIA/DEA) Harley-riding first husband was Dusty Mayron (played by Mark Wahlberg) who had proven, at least as a husband / father, truly _irresponsible_.

And Sara then had two precocious little kids, Dylan (played by Owen Vaccaro) and Megan (played by Scarlett Estevez), with said super-cool if never-ever-around first husband, who in as much as 6 or 4 year olds could "hate" a step-parent (because, well, Brad's not dad ...) ... do.

So ... six months after Sara and Brad got married  ... and after a two year period of having been totally "out of the picture," Dusty, first dad, real / biological dad, rides back into town ... and the rest of the movie ensues ;-).

Again, the film is more far more for adults than for kids and actually treats both Farrell's Brad and Wahlberg's Dusty as well as Sara (Cardellini's character) quite well.  And the film could give both college aged young adults and young married's much to talk about: Do you marry for dependability or for cool?  And yes, there's a choice being made there, and all choices do have consequences (their pluses and minuses).

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