Fatherhood premiered on 18 June 2021 on Netflix. Directed by Paul Weitz with a screenplay by Weitz and Dana Stevens, the film is based on the 2011 memoir Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love by Matthew Logelin. The 109-minute long film stars Kevin Hart, Alfre Woodard, Frankie R. Faison, Lil Rel Howery, DeWanda Wise, Anthony Carrigan, Melody Hurd, and Paul Reiser.
Single Parenting is Complex!
Fatherhood revolves around Matthew Logelin, a widower and a single parent to Maddy. Logelin lost his wife Marian, right after childbirth due to some unmentioned complication and their happy world hit a rough patch. As the film continues we see Logelin and Maddy trying to make it through their lives with some highs and lows and some everchanging relationship dynamics with everyone around but the one thing that remains common between the two is the love they the duo share.
Fatherhood is a heartwarming story because time and again we have talked about single mothers but very little do we talk about single fathers and how things are different for a patriarch in terms of responsibility and emotions. While the storyline doesn’t offer anything unique, it is Hart’s performance as a father and a single man that makes the film wholesome and convincing. Hart is there is almost every frame of the film and it’s worth it. Additionally, the beautiful bond that Hart and Melody Hurd (Maddy) share on-screen is just beautiful and encapsulating.
We have to go through a checklist of things that Fatherhood wishes to address in addition to the challenges and tribulations of single parenthood. In sequences that appear rushed and unfocused, issues including gender-based apparel, a dearth of support groups for single fathers, and work/home life are given minimal lip service. As the film ends there is a beautiful scene where Maddy and Matthew floss (dance move) while (spoiler!) Hart is wearing a skirt.
Melody Hurd as Maddy is one of the major highlights of the film, she is not just daddy’s girl but a badass too! Furthermore, her character has a good amount of layers- she is naive and stubborn yet understanding. All this adds to the film being one good watch. Though a major part of the film focuses on Maddy and Matthew, there are side characters too here that add to the wholesomeness of the film, like Matthew’s girlfriend. There is an abundance of such characters in the scene but the only problem is that in some very crucial scenes the film lacks gravitas, the rest all is good and worth it!
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! Fatherhood is your dose of wholesomeness while you sit at home and look for things to add to your watch list. Kevin Hart is amazing in his part and his energy and conviction keep the film from dipping at any point. And Melody Hurd is the catalyst to all of this!
In scenes where moments at the Catholic school were brought to light with a stern nun enraged that Matt refuses to follow the school’s skirt and shirt code policy as Maddy prefers to wear pants and boys’ underpants instead, a statement of independence that could have been fleshed out more is slid easily and without gravitas.
Fatherhood is streaming now on Netflix.