The idea of a step-parent always seems to raise an eyebrow. Well, quite frankly, step anything usually rattles one’s brain. But I think for the most part, a lot of it may be overdone by a few bad apples. Isn’t that usually the case? A handful of malicious morons ruining it for most whose hearts are filled with joy, respect, and most of all… love!
Unlike most films we’ve seen pertaining to step-parents, DADDY’S HOME has a comedic approach that flips-the-script among an all too common, yet complicated subject-matter. The film follows Brad (Will Ferrell), a kind-hearted, radio executive as he finds himself competing for the affection of his step-children following the unexpected reappearance of his wife’s ex-husband Dusty (Mark Wahlberg).
Two weeks ago
(12.12.15), I was one of a handful of media folks who was invited to the film’s press conference here in The Rotten Apple. The result was quite a charm with the following participants: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Hannibal Buress, Linda Cardellini, Brian Burns (Screenwriter), John Morris (Screenwriter), and Sean Anders (Director & Screenwriter)
DADDY’S HOME co-writer Brian Burns recalls where the actual idea for the film came from as he shares his personal experience. “I inherited two really terrific step-kids, and then also inherited a real dad. I came to discover how terrific he was, but not so much in the beginning.”
Laying out a format that would see cinematic light years later, there couldn’t have been two types to cast for the roles that once haunted Brian’s real life. Having kicked chemistry’s ass back in 2010 with THE OTHER GUYS, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg “picked up right where they left off” as per Mark. And it was fun and easy and enjoyable because “with Will there’s a tendency to want to mess with him.” (Mark refers to when being on set)
Casting of course was no easy task. “We arm-wrestled,” expresses Will when asked about what role would best fit them. After bragging about beating Mark several times and how Mark’s really a softy. “He’d fall asleep while we arm-wrestled and I was like, oh, that’s perfect for Brad. It was a nice change of pace.”
One of the film’s stand-outs are its one-liners. As someone who believes a comedy is as good as the lines it allows others to memorize and keep repeating, DADDY’S HOME has a few good ones. Not being able to hold back, when called upon, I had to ask the dreaded question about script versus improv during shoot.
The answer was provided in full Ferrell glory, but I’ll take it. “Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 37% improv. Tuesdays and Thursdays (depending on what we had for lunch), 70 to 80%. Now if it rained, we’d go with the script.”
Wise ass wouldn’t you say? But hey, it’s Willy being Willy and one must give it a pass. I do. I really enjoy the guy off camera as I do in front of it.
Full of its own charm and message of redemption in some ways, DADDY’S HOME is a fun, family flick to catch over the holidays. Yes, there’s that other monster, but why not endure two (if you can) and make it a double feature.
DADDY’S HOME – Christmas Day, 2015