- June 24, 2021
Kevin Hart plays against type in this beautiful story about the bond between a daddy and his daughter. Based on Matthew Logelin’s memoir, Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love, Fatherhood tells the story of a single dad muddling his way through single-parenthood after the sudden loss of his wife – and his journey to trusting himself to rebuild their life.
Matt (Kevin Hart) and his wife, Liz (Deborah Ayorinde) were prepared to welcome their baby girl into the world. they were not prepared for Liz dying moments after wee Maddy made her entrance. Grieving and suddenly on his own, Matt struggles with the idea of raising a little girl alone when he is barely a mature adult himself. Sharing the same concerns, Matt’s in-laws (Alfre Woodard and Frankie Faison) soon descend on Matt’s house to take care of baby Maddy.
Matt leans on family for a while but slowly realizes that, sink or swim, he is responsible for Maddy and they have to find their way together. After sending the in-laws packing, Matt fumbles through Maddy’s infancy before eventually find his groove. He builds an unconventional support system with his two best buds who, although not experienced with kids, love Maddy and do their best to be family for her and her exhausted dad.
As Maddy grows, it is evident that she may not have a balance of female influences in her life. Maddy’s teachers grow concerned with her free-spirit and unorthodox ways but Matt is proud of his independent daughter. It’s not all smooth sailing, though. Matt wrestles with his responsibilities at home and at work and continues to doubt his ability to raise his daughter as his wife would have wanted. Through it all, Matt and Maddy stay hopelessly devoted to each other.
Fatherhood was originally slated for a theatrical release but due to the pandemic, Netflix purchased the film and released it in June 2021. Though being bumped repeatedly on the release schedule, the film was able to still gain some traction and build anticipation among fans. Fans of Kevin Hart, in particular, were eager to see the comedian stretch his acting legs in a role that is atypical for him – and he did not disappoint.
Critics and fans alike were impressed with Hart’s acting chops. While still funny and entertaining, he brings genuine care and emotion to his role as a grieving dad. He creates great chemistry and trust between himself and his mini co-star, Melody Hurd. Hurd is a pint-size dynamite actress in her own right. She governs her emotions with such practiced finesse that she easily draws the audience in and wraps them collectively around her little fingers. She is simply wonderful and Maddy.
This is a sweet and funny family flick that will tug on your heartstrings without going over the top into sentimentalism. Check it out, streaming now on Netflix.
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