Fatherhood on Netflix

“Fatherhood” is a refreshing take on balancing work and parenting

In “Fatherhood,” Kevin Hart stars as Matthew Login, a widower who is faced with the sudden challenge of juggling an IT job with raising his daughter Maddy. He could not get around to setting up a crib but was determined to raise his daughter, turning down assistance from family – especially his mother-in-law.

The film appropriately balances the lead character’s grief with humour that is not forced. If you are not a fan of Kevin Hart’s brand of comedy, you will find “Fatherhood” refreshing.

A particularly rewarding moment in the movie is when Hart is pulled out of a presentation to pacify his daughter. The scene portrays his clients as humane – they show understanding and support, even share tips to stop the baby from crying. A lot of comedy’s portray working parents – especially mothers – as bad parent but not this film. “Fatherhood” sends a very positive message about modern corporate culture, one that should truly be imbibed in a new world where family and work are truly balanced, and one does not have to suffer for an employee to succeed at the other.

Matthew tells Maddy there are no rules, she does not like skirts and wears boy’s underwear. She invariably grows up to become one of Matthew’s boys and joins Matthew and his friends Oscar (Anthony Carrigan) and Jordan (Lil Rel Howery of “Get Out”) for their Sunday poker game, but they use cookies. It is hilarious!

Melody Hurd who played Maddy Logelin gives a strong performance and proves to be one to watch. As with most adults who suddenly lose a spouse, dating again is hard and they consider their children’s feelings before they step into new relationships. It is not different in “Fatherhood”. Matthew needs Maddy’s approval to date again – especially given her strong character. On the other hand, he is haunted by past events.

There is a subtle conflict between Matthew and his mother-in-law Marian (Alfre Woodard) which was however underdeveloped. The story failed to aptly provide a context for the conflict. We know that Marian believed that Matthew wasn’t good enough for her daughter Liz yet it seemed like there was more. As such, when the conflict is resolved, the audience cannot feel the emotion or savour the moment with the cast. Regardless, the film is a good choice for Father’s Day. It is streaming on Netflix.


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About the author

A lover of the arts who sees film and television through the eyes of the Nigerian viewer.