Coming to Bluray and Digital from director Paul Weitz, Netflix and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment comes the story of one man dealing with FATHERHOOD.
Matt (Kevin Hart) and wife Liz are so excited waiting for the birth of their daughter but that joy is not to last. After Liz passes, Matt is wrapped up in grief while mother-in-law Marion (Alfre Woodard) consistently tells him that he can not do the job of raising a child alone and should move back to Minnesota where there is family.
Matt decides that he is going to do what Liz would have wanted and that is to raise their child the best way he can. Returning to work, he lets boss Howard (Paul Reiser) know that his life is now more complicated but to be patient with him. Also on his side are friends Jordan (Lil Rey Howery) and Oscar (Anthony Carrigan).
Years pass and Maddy (Melody Hurd) has grown into a saucy seven-year-old who has a voice of her own. They have found a routine to their life and, as what always happens, someone is about to give Matt a dose of reality. At a friend’s party, Matt meets Lizzie (Deborah Ayorinde) and hit it off so well that even Maddy likes her!
After an accident at school, Matt feels guilty for his relationship with Lizzie and makes a decision that upsets Maddy. Instead of dealing with it, Matt and Maddy go to Minnesota for Marion’s birthday. He is even more upset when he sees that Marion has changed Liz’s room. Wanting to leave, Maddy puts her foot down and tells her father that she wants to stay with family who knew her mother.
Returning home, Matt tries to just move along and is even given a chance to take a higher paying job in the company that will require a lot of travel. Right before he is due to leave, Matt finally has an epiphany about what it means to be a good person but most of all – a good father!
Hart as Matt gets a chance to try his ‘serious’ chops in this role. There are moments of humor and he does get chances to humor-up against his girlfriend and Maddy. But this is an emotional role but Hart delivers.
Hurd as young Maddy is so cool its ridiculous. She has an opinion and has the way she delivers lines is cutting but not murderous. Instead, she is a kid who is in a difficult situation wanting to be with her Dad in everything but wanting to understand having a mother even if it is through her grandmother’s and even Lizzie.
Woodard as Marion is angry at the loss of her daughter and, in a way, blames Matt for everything. Grief tends to do that but instead of supporting his decision to raise his daughter, she finds ways to hurt his feelings and hinder his ability to be secure in his decision. Not cool ma-in-law!
Howery as Jordan is Matt’s friend who does have the best of intentions, its just his delivery system needs serious work. The one person who gets Jordan is Maddy which cracked me up. Carrigan as Oscar is that friend who just doesn’t realize that his mouth runneth over. His intentions are also good but one thing he does tell Matt that he needs to hear – their home is not a home without Maddy in it.
Wise as Lizzie is charming, accepting and understands that Matt is confused by how to be a good Dad while getting into a relationship. She clearly enjoys Maddy’s company as Maddy does hers and it is Matt that gets in his own way.
Other cast include Teneisha Collins as Ms. Burns, Thedra Porter as Anna, Ellen David as Dr. Jarvis, Julian Casey as Frank, Maria Herrera as Sister Kathleen, Frankie Faison as Grandpa Mike.
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Hart gives us a grieving father who realizes that he would rather chew glass than let his mother-in-law be right about his fathering abilities. The way he goes about getting help might be a little different but at least he is asking. The way he describes Maddy’s newborn problems were enough to have me cracking up.
As Maddy gets older, the questions come about Mom, family and why it is always just the two of them. Matt has put this protective bubble around his daughter without realizing that the consequences will be painful – but for who?
The story is charming, relatable, heart breaking, and funny with a cast that makes it so tissue worthy. Everyone around Matt wants what is best for Maddy but they have to remember that what is best for her is Dad!
In the end – they are in it together!