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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Instructions Not Included (2013/Lionsgate Blu-ray)

Instructions Not Included (2013/Lionsgate Blu-ray)

Picture: B Sound: B+ Extras: C- Film: A-

Valentin Bravo (Eugenio Derbez, who also directed) is a womanizer, known for his philandering and famous one night stands. That is, until one of his former lovers leaves a baby on his door step and disappears. Now Valentin must enter (illegally) into America and search for the mother, but that is nowhere near hard as taking care of a baby. As he takes care and watches as baby Maggie grow, he learns a few things himself and about caring for others, but the last thing he expected is to fall in love with his child, and that sometimes the hardest thing a parent can learn about a child ...is letting go.

In Instructions Not Included (2013), Valentin is also no good, lazy playboy and has a phobia of anything dangerous, including anything that requires work and especially commitment, but all that comes to a sudden end when he realizes he must become a father to his daughter Maggie (Loreto Peralta). He journeys illegally to America in search of Maggie's mother Julie, he takes a job as a stuntman to provide for her and give her a happy life. After years pass, Julie returns for Maggie, but now Valentin doesn't want to lose his daughter... can it be he really is a good father?

This was a comical story of a man over coming his fears and learning about fatherhood. As he continues to search for the child's mother, he amazingly somehow lands a high paying job, and for the love of a daughter he faces and conquers his fears, but when the mother actually returns, he fights for the right to be with his daughter, but holds on to a secret that he can't even tell her. This was a touching and funny film, and teaches the spirit of parenthood means overcoming any trial/hardship for the love of a child. This was a moderate hot and a moneymaker, yet hardly got national distribution, but deserves better.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image was shot with an Arri Alexa and looks pretty good for the kind of plain shoot it is, but the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix has more clarity and range than expected and is a nice plus that likely helped it be a hit. Extras includes commentary with Eugenio Derbez and a digital HD copy if you want it.

- Ricky Chiang


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