“Daddy’s Home“ is a holiday romp about a mild-mannered radio executive, played by William Ferrell, whose goal is to become the best stepdad ever to his wife’s two children. Not readily embraced by the kids to start with, the stakes rises to new heights when their super cool biological father, played by Mark Wahlberg shows up, competing for the affection of the family. As the mother of the children, played by Linda Cardellini, warns that “your self-help books have never met Dusty”, we know what we’re in for. And the film doesn’t disappoint! It’s an hour and a half long ride of quirky Zoolander-ish silliness that keeps the audience laughing while maintaining a tight and solid story.
Wahlberg says he “jumped on the opportunity because there are not too many guys out there like Will who are that uniquely funny and talented.” And Ferrel’s comic abilities are truly flourishing in this grounded, hard-working, dutiful, believer-in-the-goodness-of-other-people type character. The pairing with Wahlberg is perfect, who’s also excelling playing his slick, handsome, bad-ass, free-spirited character. The film’s director Sean Anders considers him very funny in addition to being “a bit of a real life super hero”, a rare combination.
Ferrell, who’s also co-producing the film, thinks the story is relatable because there are so many blended families today, and because it turns the tables on the cliché of the “evil step-dad”. He sees the film as a bit of a change-up from his previous work as an actor because, while a lot of the movies have been funny, “this one is our most story-driven yet.”
Another bright shining comic star among the film’s strong supporting cast is Thomas Haden Church from the Indie favorite “Sideways“. The writing was the big draw for him, and he says it was “one of the sharpest comedy scripts I’ve read in years and I was really flattered when they asked me to be Will Ferrell’s boss.”
Reviewed from a Paramount Screening at AMC Lincoln Square, New York, Dec. 19, 2015. Rating: PG-13. Running time: 96 MIN. Daddy’s Home is released in the US on December 25, 2015.
Featured image is a screen shot from the video.