Step-parenting is never an easy gig, but born-to-be-a-father Brad Whitaker (Will Ferrell) is well up to the task. Eager to win over his beautiful wife Sara’s (Linda Cardellini) two children, Brad throws himself into fatherhood in every way he can, eventually earning the trust of Megan (Scarlett Estevez) and Dylan (Owen Vaccaro). But all of Brad’s hard work is thrown out the window when Sara’s bad-boy ex-husband and the biological father of her children, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) shows up on their doorstep. Threatened by Dusty’s rebellious (if slightly irresponsible) parenting style, Brad tries desperately to out-do Dusty’s fathering, leading to an all out war between dad and stepdad.
While this comedy might seem like a good film for the whole family, I really do advise parents that Daddy’s Home probably isn’t appropriate for the little ones. The s-word and b-word both get thrown around a lot throughout the film, and there are a few scenes with rather adult themes; a little confusing considering some of the slapstick gags are so clearly aimed at kids (or the more immature of us grown ups). In that sense, the humour of this film is a little misguided and difficult to define a target audience for, however, there are definitely some jokes that will keep the parents entertained.
I didn’t exactly go into Daddy’s Home with high hopes – even the title had me on edge – and while it’s certainly not the best or most original family comedy ever created, there was a surprising amount of merit to this film. I laughed out loud far more times than I expected, mainly thanks to Will Ferrell who proves once again that he’s worthy of his comedic crown. But the best part about this film was the message it sends to the many kids in this modern world growing up with step-parents. Step-parents often get a bad rap, particularly in children’s films and Disney classics, so it’s really nice to see a stepdad as the hero of a movie. It attempts to teach kids how hard step-parents work to fit in to their new families, and how much love they really do have for their new kids.
Immature in some scenes, poignant and hilarious in others, Daddy’s Home is the slightly-too-naughty family comedy that will have you giggling at times, but blocking your children’s ears at others. Proceed with caution!