Updated: June 18, 2021 18:09 IST
Rating : 2.5/5
Directed by Paul Weitz, Fatherhood stars Kevin Hart, Melody Hurd, Alfre Woodard, Lil Rel Howery, Anthony Carrigan, Deborah Ayorinde and more. Fatherhood is available to stream on Netflix from 18th June. Fatherhood showcases how Matt deals with raising his daughter after the unexpected death of his wife.
Based on Matthew Logeline's memoir Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love, Fatherhood follows the life of a man who loses his life during childbirth. The film begins with Matt (Kevin Hart) saying "this sucks'' at his wife's funeral. This scene alone sets the tone of the whole film. Fatherhood somehow manages to incorporate comedy in a rather emotional tale. The narrative shifts from flashbacks to the present. Matt and Liz (Deborah Ayorinde) are gearing up to have their first child. With a turn of events, Liz has to undergo a cesarean section to have their child. The new parents rejoice. However, the happiness is momentary as Liz passes away after suffering from a pulmonary embolism. Matt finds himself adjusting to life as a widower and single parent. While everyone in Matt's life questions if he can handle taking care of his newborn daughter Maddy, he insists on doing it all by himself. The short film that has a run time of an hour and 50 minutes showcases how Matt tackles all that comes with being a single father. The film showcases two phases of Matt's life. From a father taking care of an infant to him talking care of a gender non-conforming kindergartner (Melody Hurd).
Presented in a sitcom fashion, Fatherhood is a feel-good film that you can stream as you go about your day. The film's hyper-focus on Matt and how he deals with his new found status as a widower and single parent somewhat takes away from what the film could have been. A lot more could have been on the character building front. For example, Matt has a long-standing tension with his mother in law which is never addressed. It seems as though the film was just put together to let Kevin Hart steal the show. However, the director does a great job of wrapping up the film neatly and cleanly. The narrative runs quickly from Matt's daughter Maddy being an infant to a 5 year, so as to introduce a love interest for Matt. The film is overtly predictable but as a viewer, one might not mind. There is a clear balance between drama and comedy. From Matt barging in on a new mother's group to him playing hoops with diapers, the film does bring out a few laughs. We're used to Kevin Hart being a comic. In this film, Hart showcases another side to him. Hart manages to put forth a convincingly emotional performance. It seems as though the film is trying to say Hart can do more than comedy. The rest of the cast fits in perfectly. Marian, Matt's mother-in-law (Alfre Woodard) brings in the much-needed drama and Matt's co-workers (Anthony Carrigan) and a bumbling Don Juan (Lil Rel Howery) add to the comic effect. All in all the casting is spot on. Melody Hurd, who plays Hart's daughter Maddy deserves a special mention for her outstanding performance. Fatherhood does what it sets out to do. It's a straightforward film that will elicit laughter and give you a boost if you're feeling low or tired.
If you're looking for a simple and feel-good film, Fatherhood is the film for you. It's the right amount of dramatic and funny if you're looking for a movie to stream when you're kicking back your shoes after a long day of work.