Rating: PG-13, 1 hour 36 minutes
In a Nutshell:
Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg definitely have chemistry together. You can see jokes coming a mile away, but they’re still pretty funny. Critics are ripping the movie to shreds, but the audience I watched the movie with was rolling on the floor with laughter and thoroughly enjoyed it. Maybe it was all that Christmas sugar going to their heads that made them not care that the movie was formulaic and lazy.
- “A real dad wouldn’t give up on his kids so easy.” – Griff (Hannibal Buress)
- “You can find the good in just about anything.” – Sarah to Brad (What a nice compliment. I hope people can say the same thing about me.)
- “It takes a real man to show his emotions.” – Sarah (Linda Cardellini)
- The movie begins with a question: “What do kids need more – a father or a dad? What’s the difference?”
Things I liked:
- Normally, product placement in movies drives me nuts, but it’s actually pretty clever in this film. Director Sean Anders pokes fun at blatant merchandising and it ends up actually being funny. You’ll never think of Cinnabon and the Ford Flex in the same way again.
- The movie begins with fairly morbid, but funny kid drawings by Megan. Scarlett Estevez is absolutely adorable as Megan.
- There’s a super short clip of one of my favorite movies of all time “The Princess Bride.”
- Mark Wahlberg’s character is described as what would happen if Jesse James and Mick Jagger had a baby. He’s hilarious.
- There were several jokes about the movie Frozen that got the audience howling.
- I’ve liked Thomas Haden Church ever since he was a young guy on Wings. His character in this film is ridiculous, yet surprisingly likeable.
- The ending was precious.
Things I didn’t like:
- I never like it when kids swear in movies. The audience laughed, but I cringed.
- Any movie with Will Ferrill is sure to include crude humor that features poop, animals humping, testicles and tampons. This one delivers.
- With all the money Will Ferrill makes, why doesn’t he get his teeth fixed?
- There is a reference to the Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda TV shows that no one under 50 will even understand.
- There are some stunts and CGI that look totally fake.
- There is a whole series of racist jokes that are funny and awkward at the same time, including a deserved slam about Paula Deen.
- “I’m a hot habanero pepper right now.” – Brad
- “You must be the new and improved husband.” – Mark
- “If this guy were my wife’s ex, I’d put a bullet in my head.” – Leo
Tips for parents:
- There are actually some good parenting tips in the movie, such as having “kind, but firm boundaries.”
- While the movie is completely goofy, families might benefit from a discussion about some of the issues that are brought up in the film: parenting, love, respect, boundaries, family.