'Fatherhood' gives Kevin Hart a chance to show off his serious side

4 months ago 22
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Kevin Hart plays the widowed dada  to Melody Hurd successful  the Netflix movie   'Fatherhood' (Philippe Bosse/Netflix).

(CNN)"Fatherhood" arrives conscionable successful clip for Father's Day, successful a heart-tugging bundle that presents star/producer Kevin Hart an accidental to amusement disconnected his melodramatic acting chops. Not that determination aren't laughs successful this sweetly spirited, conflict-light, fact-based Netflix movie, which comes with the added stamp of being presented by the Obamas' Higher Ground Productions.

Based connected the publication by Matthew Logelin (played by Hart), the movie begins astatine the ceremonial for his woman Liz ("Them's" Deborah Ayorinde), who died of a pulmonary embolism soon aft giving commencement to their daughter.

Devastated, Matt resists the pleas from Liz's parent (Alfre Woodard, terrific arsenic always) to fto her instrumentality the babe backmost to Minnesota, insisting connected raising her unsocial portion trying to negociate a demanding full-time occupation with minimal assistance from his 2 idiot buddies, played by Lil Rel Howery and Anthony Carrigan ("Barry"). They aren't overmuch assistance with tasks similar installing car seats oregon assembling babe furniture, but 3 men and babies person a reasonably lucrative surface history, truthful champion not to quibble.

    Matt's brag (Paul Reiser) besides tries to beryllium understanding, but he's not overmuch amended astatine it than the occasionally tone-deaf guys, oregon the strangers who support cheerfully asking him wherever the baby's ma is.

      Directed by Paul Weitz ("About a Boy"), who shares publication recognition with Dana Stevens, the movie derives sizeable drama from Matt's archetypal plight -- including ocular gags, similar placing the diaper genie nether a artifact hoops hoop -- but that's leavened by the crushing nonaccomplishment that helium has experienced, and the nagging self-doubt astir his parenting skills.

      "You deliberation you tin bash this, but you can't," his mother-in-law tells him aboriginal on, a question that doesn't truly slice arsenic babe Maddy grows up into a small miss (the adorable Melody Hurd, who besides played Ayorinde's daughter, arsenic it happens, successful Amazon's "Them").

      Adding to the complications, Matt meets a woman, besides named Liz (DeWanda Wise, the prima of Netflix's update of "She's Gotta Have It"), adding a 3rd shot to his juggling act, portion trying to stay focused connected raising Maddy arsenic his superior concern.

      "I conscionable privation to bash what your ma would person wanted maine to do," Matt tells Maddy, aft butting heads with her grandma.

      Other hurdles emerge, but there's truly not a full batch much to it than that beyond watching Matt turn to conscionable the demands and quirks of parenting, and Hart -- joining a agelong bequest of comedic actors who person expanded to much melodramatic parts -- grounds affectional depths not regularly associated with the likes of his comedies oregon the "Jumanji" movies. Weitz creates capable country for him to flex those muscles, but the widowed sitcom dada riffs are intelligibly secondary to the film's household underpinnings.

        The property notes evoke different erstwhile First Lady by referring to the "It takes a village" facet of Matt's story, but the entreaty of "Fatherhood" truly boils down to its title, the resilience of the quality spirit, and Hart being bold capable -- similar his change ego -- to deliberation that helium tin bash this. And similar Matt, by the clip it's over, he's demonstrated that helium beauteous good can.

        "Fatherhood" premieres June 18 connected Netflix.

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