Christmas comes in many forms, as do the families that celebrate it, and the fathers in Daddy’s Home 2 are no different. Full of sarcasm, earnest looks, and mostly good intentions I followed this a-list ensemble all the way to Christmas day.
Cue AC/DC’s Thunderstruck as Kurt (Mel Gibson) descends the airport escalator. He is egotistical and pessimistic while concurrently being tirelessly unsuccessful in his hopes to form a bond with his distant son, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg), after years of absent fathering and dismissed attempts at reconciliation. In order to divert from his insecurities as a father, Kurt insists Brad (Will Ferrell) and Dusty are harboring hatred toward one another and suggests the families join troops for the holiday within one Airbnb house so the dueling fathers can finally duke it out.
A surprise visitor follows Kurt’s arrival at the terminal. Cut to Captain and Tennille’s Love Will Keep Us Together as the brilliantly optimistic and beaming Don (John Lithgow) hurries joyously toward his middle age son (Brad), connecting with a long-lasting kiss to the lips. He’s ready with solutions of love, hugs and Care Bears at every corner. Sadly, he is quietly dealing with a love lost and tries desperately to remain happy until his secret finally unfolds during a forced improv topic of “divorce” at a local comedy club. At the end of the movie we realize his wife left him for the one, the only, the Captain Sully (yes, the Hudson River pilot).
The children are magically deviant at times. Megan (Scarlett Estevez) and Adrianna (Didi Costine) make an unchaperoned visit to the communal eggnog which leads to a drunken pre-teen stupor whilst the entire family partakes in an unsuccessful living nativity scene featuring baby Jesus and some not-so-wise men…
Sara (Linda Cardellini) learns how to balance expectations as she comes to terms with Karen’s (Allessandra Ambrosio) unconventional and hands-off parenting tactics.
The $20K Christmas tree (aka – once cell phone tower), even though almost causing the second death of Will Farrell, was priceless, and the snow blowing light strand debacle with chants of, “just let it go” while Kurt documents the entire fiasco on his cell had me covered in laughter.
The most heart-warming scene comes near the end as everyone gathers in a movie theater on Christmas Day due to road closures. Sweetly innocent Dylan (Owen Vaccaro) finally succumbs to the desires of his first kiss, and one by one each family member turns to singing in the company of strangers as they finally begin to spread love and stop harboring anger.
Daddy’s Home 2 Press Junket with Linda Cardellini (***Spoilers)
The Beverly Wilshire Hotel provided an intimate and sophisticated setting amongst select bloggers for the Daddy’s Home 2 press junket. Linda Cardellini was very kind, open, and full of of on-set stories. She reminisced of the first film and how blessed she feels to be a apart of DH2, stating that it was “even more fun” than the first. Having never been to Boston (where filming took place), she “really loved it there” and exclaimed that it was a “magical shoot. We had a lot of fun together.”
Thankfully I was able to ask Linda a quick question…
“That last scene (the singing) was so much fun, because we got to go into a studio to record it as if we were in the video of We Are The World. It was hot, freezing, then dark and light, and we were in there (the movie theater) for a few days, but the idea of being there with everyone and then singing that song and at the end everybody dancing together was just so much fun. It was close to the end of shooting so we were all really sort of emotional and it felt good – it was like a release and a celebration!” – Linda Cardellini
Daddy’s Home 2 is in theaters everywhere!