Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend a screening of Paramount Pictures Daddy’s Home starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. Will Ferrell plays Brad, a doting step-father to Megan and Dylan, ( played by Scarlett Estevez and Owen Vacarro) the children of his new wife Sarah, played by Linda Cardellini. Just as Brad is making headway in building his relationship with the children, Dusty ( Mark Wahlberg), the children’s real dad, comes back into the picture. Thus begins the hilarious battle between the two dads to win the affection of the kids. As someone who is in a blended family myself, I was very interested to see how the movie would play out this type of rivalry. The movie, while silly and funny, was also very heart-warming and sweet. Without giving away too much, I’ll say that I love how the characters made the choice to come together for a common cause. How they get to that point, however, makes for an extremely entertaining hour and a half! (The scene at the Laker’s game alone is worth the price of the movie ticket)
Linda Cardellini plays the part of Sarah (Brad’s wife/Dusty’s ex-wife) with equal parts understanding and irritation as she watches Brad and Dusty’s competitive hijinx. Thomas Haden Church is hysterical as Leo, Brad’s nonsensical storytelling boss and Hannibal Burress adds quick wit and charm to his role as Griff, the houseguest that never leaves. I actually caught myself thinking I wouldn’t mind a “Griff” hanging around my house! What I liked most about this film was it’s ability to find the humor in a situation that many divorced/remarried families find themselves in. Through life’s difficulties and insecurities it’s always best to find a way to handle them with humor and humility; Daddy’s Home conveys this message in a comical and heartfelt way.
In addition to the screening, I was also invited to attend a Press Junket to interview the cast of Daddy’s Home. As you may have guessed, it was a morning filled with laughs! Brian Burns, one of Daddy’s Home screenwriters started things off by letting the media know how the idea for the movie came to be.
Brian Burns: “My wife and I, when we got married, I inherited two really terrific step-kids. And then I also inherited a real dad who was– I came to discover how terrific he was…But not so much in the beginning. So that was really the– the beginning of the idea of the movie.”
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I have a blended family too, and I was touched by how highly he spoke of his step-children and their father. The idea for the movie was born out of the ups and downs of acclimating to this family situation and it translated onto the screen in a clever good-humored manner.
There are a few scenes in the movie where Brad and Dusty are dealing with the school car-loop. Since this is a daily source of frustration ( and sometimes rage) in my life I was curious to see if Will, Linda, or Mark had to tackle the dreaded school drop off lane with their own kids.
Will Ferrell: “The carpool…I avoid the carpool lane. I have to time it to where I leave early enough to find a meter to park. At our school, there is a buncha parents who got together to literally…we put a video together to kinda point out the behavior of the parents. ‘Cause we’ve had people on their laptops as they pull up for drop-off. We’ve had someone just hop the curb and knock the fire hydrant over. Yeah, just crazy, incessant, yeah, behavior.”
Since the movie opens in theaters on Christmas Day the cast what their plans were for the holidays:
Mark Wahlberg: “Just the usual. You know, my kids’ll get a buncha gifts. And I’ll have to clean up all the wrapping paper. And then they’ll probably only focus on, like, one thing. So, and then we’ll have a nice meal.
Will Ferrell: “I kinda take every year off with giving gifts to my kids. So last year was an off year. They didn’t get any presents. So this year, they’re super excited. Makes ’em want it a little bit more.”
Hannibal Burress: “I’ll probably gamble on basketball and ignore my family. There’s five games. Warriors-Cavs? It’s gonna be great.”
Linda Cardellini: “I have an almost four year old. So, I’m really into what Santa’s bringing. So I’ll be very involved with Santa.
Brian Burns: “I have two little guys, five and seven. And then my two step-kids are now 21 and 18. And I’m taking all of them to see Daddy’s Home.”
And that’s exactly what you should do too! Go see Daddy’s Home opening in theaters everywhere Christmas Day. It’s really funny and sweet; I loved it and so will you!
**As you can see from the above photo I had the opportunity to chat and get some photos with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. My friend Andrea from Just Is A Four Letter Word is a huge Will Ferrell fan, ( she even invited him to her wedding 🙂 ) so I brought along a “flat Andrea” photo of her and her two cats Ron Purrgundy and Brick. ( named after characters in Anchorman) I asked Will if he wouldn’t mind posing with the photo and he was nice enough to do so. Andrea was so excited she even wrote a post about it that you can read HERE. **
Daddy’s Home Official Website
***I was provided with a ticket to attend the screening of Daddy’s Home. All opinions are honest and my own.****