Kevin Harts The transition from comedian to dramatic actor just doesn’t work. The second role of the comedian in a more serious role, director Paul Weitz‘s “fatherhood” to the Netflix– 2019 “The Top” was his first – it’s all a downside and some crucial elements are missing.
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Strikingly absent is the comedian’s beating heart and manic soul, which can light up the screen and turn even the most mundane material into roaring laughter. Part of what makes Hart’s comedy – even if it’s not that funny at times – is his spirited energy and happy arrogance in the face of more realistic, everyday characters. When you look at him “First take,” roasting “sports analyst” Stephen A. Smith, it’s not only funny but also laugh out loud. It can turn up the volume on your TV without touching a button. But in “Fatherhood,” he is muted.
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While there’s nothing wrong with Hart trying different gear and trying something new, the actor shows little talent for it. Worse still, any actor with two eyes, ears and a nose could literally play the inconspicuous Matt (Hart), a father who, like a rumba, pouting aimlessly through life with feelings. Matt recently lost his wife in childbirth, and there’s no one-liner insight that’s theoretically okay but goes against all of Hart’s strengths. The funniest thing about the first act is how the director does Paul Weitz Treats Matt’s situation as if no one has ever had to raise a child alone, as if thousands of fathers within five miles aren’t going through exactly the same thing.
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After the funeral, Matt’s mother Anna (Thedra Porter) and mother-in-law Marion (Alfre Woodard) Tell him that he cannot raise a child on his own and that he should move closer to the family. Later his brothers (Lil Rel Howery and Anthony Carrigan) makes jokes at his expense and emphasizes the impossibility of raising a child without breasts. Who says that? But Matt is kind, caring, and resilient, and he will raise Maddy on his own, even if that means taking her to work, shops, poker nights, and basketball games. Her mother would have wanted that, although she might have asked Matt to hire a babysitter instead of taking her to a smoky game night or crowded flights.
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Weitz fills in the rest of “fatherhood” with your standard sap and boring supporting characters. The MVP, however, is Howrey as Jordan. With a silly charm that resembles its performance in. remind “Get out,” Howrey steals the show. He’s the only one who has any real chemistry with Hart, and every time Jordan brings a six pack to cheer up Matt, you dearly want them to drop the act for a boys night out. Her bromance is surprisingly the best part of the movie, and makes the real movie – Hart wants to be a responsible, good father – boring and uneventful.
Hart takes on a lead role, charged with carrying the heavier emotional burden, and he proves more than his charm and skill. But Howrey dwarfs him every step of the way. He still gets a few laughs from the grounded premise (a scene where Matt takes Maddy to a pickup game is downright hilarious), but it just always feels like Weitz and Hart have the comedians’ abilities in the Names of. put something more serious in a straitjacket (that’s actually not very interesting).
But the comedy doesn’t usually fit in with the rest of the film, which is touching rather than funny, but never so poignant either. While Fatherhood has a heart, it just doesn’t have a Kevin Hart (the Kevin Hart we fell in love with anyway) and focuses more on creating a syrupy, warm smile than on a dizzying laugh. It lacks the spark that Hart normally brings to the table, no matter what type of film it is. While Fatherhood could have been an interesting linchpin in his career, the script is too standardized and unimaginative to inspire Hart to great dramatic performance. It might be admirable to take this risk, but it could go back to basics for anyone’s favorite loudmouth unless they find better material. [C-]