Instant Family

Rated 2.0

A suburban couple (Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne) volunteer as foster parents, then find themselves in over their heads when they take on a troubled teenager (Isabela Moner) and her younger siblings (Gustavo Quiroz, Julianna Gamiz). Director Sean Anders, who co-wrote with John Morris, reportedly based his script on his own experience, but it’s filtered through the schlocky style of his (and Morris’) past movies, things like Daddy’s Home 2 and That’s My Boy. The movie has amusing moments, but they feel prepackaged with everything but a sitcom laugh track. When Anders isn’t extracting laughs like a dentist pulling teeth, he’s pushing our emotional buttons or congratulating his characters (and presumably himself) for being so heroic. Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro add some nice moments as foster agency reps. J.L.