There are so many movies about family, that creating a list centred on the theme is nigh impossible. You could argue that almost every movie contains this theme to some extent.
In your Sunday night movie this weekend on M-Net, it’s literally in the title. Instant Family focuses on adoption, as Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne adopt three tempestuous siblings, leading to an instant family with instant challenges.
There are all kinds of families all over the world, so our top pick has focused on just a few of the many, many varieties out there: the kooky and the heroic, as well single parenthood, losing family, and meeting new members.
Here they are:
About a Boy
The movie containing what was arguably Nicholas Hoult’s breakout performance is based on a book by Nick Hornby. Following the self-absorbed “trials” and “tribulations” of Hugh Grant’s Will Freeman, the focus soon shifts when he meets frazzled single mom, Fiona Brewer (wonderfully played by Toni Collette), and her precocious son, Marcus (played by Hoult). It’s sweet and charming, tugging at the heartstrings as this impromptu family band together to see each other through the highs and the many lows.
The Addams Family
The history of the kooky family who love anything dark and dastardly is as extensive as the occupants of the gloriously gloomy Addams’ household. Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday and Pugsley Addams, along with Uncle Fester, Grandmama, and their butler Lurch, have sown discord since their beginnings in print cartoons. Introducing more family members along the way, their portrayal morphed into multiple TV shows and movies, with the latest rendition coming out this year.
Losing family is never easy, and when you’ve been estranged it becomes even more challenging. Tim Burton, who lost both his parents just prior to the film’s release, beautifully navigates the heartache and reconciliation of Will Bloom and his father Edward. Threaded together with the magic of Edward’s stories, told with Burton’s usual charm and quirk, it worms its tale even deeper into your heart thanks to poignant performances from an excellent cast.
Some families have skeletons in their closet, others have superhero costumes. But never with a cape, if Edna Mode has anything to say about it. This fun, funny animation revolving around Bob and Helen Parr and their three children may be about superpowers and saving-the-world-action on the surface, but at heart it’s about family. Whether going about mundane household tasks or coming to the rescue as The Incredibles, the movie proves everything works a little better and a little faster when you work together.
Meet the Parents
Families are always growing – either with a new baby, a new pet…or in-laws. Ben Stiller makes everyone cringe and cry out in his awkward encounters with his future in-laws. With Robert De Niro making a menacing but amusing future father-in-law, riffing brilliantly off Stiller’s bumbling and unlikely romantic lead, we were given one of the noughties’ first comedy classics.
Find more family fun in Instant Family, your Sunday night movie on 3 November at 21:10 on M-Net channel 101.
Remember to tune in for the second episode of Trackers just before, at 20:00 on M-Net.
Want even more family fun? Watch Modern Family every Wednesday at 19:00 followed by The Conners at 19:30, on M-Net.