Kevin Hart stars as a single dad mourning the passing of his wife in Fatherhood, a new film produced by Sony and premiering on Netflix.
Hart is an actor who you will either love or hate. He tends to go over the top in most projects but with Paul Weitz’s direction, he comes back down to earth. Given that the film is based on a memoir by Matthew Logelin, it makes sense that Hart’s performance is toned down.
Matt Logelin’s (Kevin Hart) wife, Liz (Deborah Ayorinde), passes away shortly after childbirth. Not only does he have to deal with his grief from her passing but he also must face being a single father. It’s not an easy task and he gets some help from both family and friends. You know what they say? Raising a child takes a village. In Matt’s case, it holds true. Eventually, Matt ends up meeting another woman named Liz (DeWanda Wise). Fatherhood isn’t easy but Matt is determined to be the best father to Maddy (Melody Hurd).
What Kevin Hart brings to the performance is what helps to make the film what it is. Again, he’s playing a grieving father who must also learn to be a father along the way. It’s no easy trick. Single parents really do have one of the hardest jobs in the world. Not only do they have to do their own job but they must raise a child (or children) in the process. It’s certainly not an easy feat by any means. Anyway, Hart displays some acing growth by showing some of his dramatic range. I hope we get to see more of this side of Hart because it’s something that audiences don’t see it enough. I’m not saying he’ll win an Oscar but it’s nice to see comedic performers show another side on screen.
The film does stray away a bit from real life if only to add some tension to the drama. Matt and his mother-in-law, Marion (Alfre Woodard), have some tension in their relationship. However, this is maybe one of the few things in the film that are different from real life. Marion only wants the best for Maddy even if it means getting Matt to move back to Minnesota.
Fatherhood displays an affecting story while also allowing audiences to see another side of Kevin Hart.
DIRECTOR: Paul Weitz
SCREENWRITERS: Dana Stevens and Paul Weitz
CAST: Kevin Hart, Alfre Woodard, Lil Rel Howery, DeWanda Wise, Frankie R. Faison, Anthony Carrigan and Paul Reiser, Melody Hurd, Deborah Ayorinde