Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Daddy's Home 2 Adoption Movie Review

Dusty and Brad have worked to successfully become “co-dads” after Brad married Sara and became stepfather to Dusty’s two children Dylan and Megan. Brad has demonstrated a compassionate approach to parenting that Dusty has come to accept and respect, and Dusty has accepted Brad as part of his family. Now, Brad and Sara have become parents to Griffy, and Dusty has married Karen, become stepfather to Adrianna. When Megan expresses that she hates having to have two different Christmases, Dusty and Brad agree to have one big celebration together as a family. It gets even bigger when Brad’s father Don and Dusty’s often-absent father Kurt both join the festivities. Dusty’s macho father can’t believe that Dusty and Brad actually are able to successfully share parenting duties, and he tries to drive a wedge between them. Brad’s father is hiding a secret, and Adrianna’s musclebound father brings an element of dangerous unpredictability when he shows up, too. Can these several dads learn to work together for the good of their kids?

*Spoilers ahead the rest of the way*

The Adoption Connection

Although there is no direct mention of adoption, the concept of blended families and shared parenting is relevant to many families, including adoptive and foster families. Brad and Dusty have built a strong relationship, even though their start was rocky, and even though they don’t always get along very well.

Strong Points

Dusty and Brad initially say that they don’t harbor any hard feelings towards each other, and they present as having a very strong relationship. The truth that comes out is, they do have some grudges against each other – but the film doesn’t end with that realization. They both love the children that they’re parenting, and they view each other as family. The hurt feelings that they have towards each other are true, but their relationship doesn’t end because of those feelings, and in fact, those feelings aren’t the primary defining factor of their relationship – they’re just part of the story. Brad and Dusty show that adults co-parenting the same children can be a team – and be a family – even in spite of differences in lifestyle and differences in approaches to parenting. This film could present a surprisingly helpful example for what positive relationships could look like between adoptive and birth families, as well.

Dusty is learning to express his emotions. Although his father was not nurturing, Dusty is learning to tell his kids that he loves them.


Brad and Dusty do try to hurt each other. Dusty’s father Kurt seems to be trying to upset the balance that Brad and Dusty have worked to form.

When Adrianna’s dad shows up, he refers to himself as her “one true real dad,” which seems to be intended to belittle the role that Dusty is taking in her life.


I wouldn’t recommend Daddy’s home to kids, and I don’t think it’s intended as a family film, but it seems like it could be a good choice for parents. As you watch it, consider how adoption or fostering is similar to a blended family. What conflicted loyalties might your children be feeling? How can you acknowledge and honor the other connections in their lives?

Questions for Discussion

What makes Brad’s and Dusty’s relationship work?

Can you maintain a relationship with someone even if you have some mixed feelings towards them? What helps that happen?

To what extent could you incorporate your children’s birth family into your family’s life?

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