Our Thoughts On Daddy’s Home!

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Daddy’s Home is the new comedy from Paramount Pictures reuniting stars Will Ferrell (Anchorman, The Other Guys) and Mark Wahlberg (Ted, The Other Guys). Daddy’s Home is very much a wonky and ridiculous Will Ferrell comedy, but it’s also about the meaning of family.

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In this film Will Ferrell’s character Brad marries Sarah played by Linda Cardellini (Avengers Age of Ultron, Scooby Doo). Sarah has two children from a previous marriage thus making Brad a stepfather. Like in most situations, neither child cares for the stepfather; but this is a Will Ferrell film so this trope gets taken to the extreme. The children’s disrespect for Brad involves twisted pictures and witty insults, all of which are actually very funny just because it’s coming from children. Underneath, this really hurts Brad who has always wanted to be a father and does everything possible to be involved in the children’s lives. Finally, after months of hard work, Brad is accepted as part of the family and everything is great…until a late night phone call from Dusty. Dusty, played by Mark Wahlberg, is the biological father and ex-husband of Sarah. Instead of being upset, Brad decides to meet Dusty and be courteous for the sake of the family. The film really picks up once Brad and Dusty finally meet.

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Will Ferrell’s Brad is the antithesis in every way to Mark Wahlberg’s Dusty. Brad wears ties and slacks and drives a ford fusion. Dusty wears jeans, a leather jacket, and rides a motorcycle. Brad is the program coordinator at an easy listening jazz radio station. Dusty can’t even tell people what he does because as Brad states in the film “it likely involves killing people for a living.” Dusty comes in with the full intention of winning back Sarah and his kids, he even tells Brad this is his plan. The rest of the film is a competition between the two men who use their individual skills to show who can be the better father and husband. Each situation is ridiculous and fun in the way only a Will Ferrell comedy can deliver.

Other supporting cast stand outs are Hannibal Buress, Bobby Cannavale, and Thomas Hadden Church. Hannibal Buress (Broad City, 30 Rock) is Griff, a contractor that moves in with the family and is just accepted for no real reason except that is too ridiculous. Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire, Ant-Man) is a doctor who is only briefly in the film for two scenes, but steals both of them. Finally, Thomas Haden Church (Sideways, Spider-Man 3) is the real stand out in this film. In every one of these comedies, there is a character who is given the most absurd dialogue that makes the audience ask “what the heck is he talking about?” In Daddy’s Home, Thomas Haden Church’s Leo is that character. I would go so far as to say his performance as Brad’s boss is my favorite part of the film. Church’s deadpan delivery of every crazy story and zany bit of dialogue really sets the tone for this comedy.

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What makes Daddy’s Home a great film for the holidays is that it sets out to convey the message of what it takes to be a father and that sometimes having two men trying to fill that role is actually a good thing. A lesser film would pick a character and only illustrate why they should be the father and turn the other man into an obvious villain. Daddy’s Home actually manages to make these two stereotypical characters not just more ridiculous but also show how together they can actually equal a good father.

There are many families where divorce has split a couple but both parents participate in the ex-spouse’s life for the sake of the children. While this film does look at the situation with a comedic lens, it also shows why it is still important to do what is right for the sake of family. What message could be more important during the holidays?

Jesse Delia

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