Director Sean Anders Talks About How Own ‘Instant Family’

Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne’s comedy/drama film, Instant Family appears to be an instant hit with both critics and audiences alike. Sure, not everyone is a fan, but I suspect that people don’t actually have kids themselves. Those that do, appreciate all of the chaos and (at times) the corniness that is a part of family life. In the movie, Wahlberg and Byrne play a couple who want to start a family, but sort of feel that they are a bit old to be just starting and find themselves looking into foster care adoption and end up adopting a teen girl and her two younger siblings. Unrealistic you say? Try telling that to Sean Anders who co-wrote the script and directed the movie. He lived it. Well, mostly.

I met Anders last week to talk about Instant Family just before the film opened and my biggest question for him was how much of this film was actually based on real life. “A lot of it,” he said and then went on telling me a story about how his family came to be.

“First of all, my …

ABC’s ‘The Proposal’ is Just as Awful as You Think It Would Be

TV Series Review
The first 10 contestants on The Proposal. (ABC)


Each one-hour episode of The Proposal, ABC’s new reality matchmaking show, features 10 eligible daters competing in four pageant-style rounds to win the heart of a mystery suitor whose identity is concealed from them. Within an hour, one will be asked for their hand in marriage.

“This is not a game,” says Jesse Palmer, the show’s host during the beginning of tonight’s premiere episode. Palmer explains that the contestants for the show have been hand-picked by a panel of “blue ribbon matchmakers.” Uh-huh. The former NFL quarterback, contributor to Good Morning America and official “Bachelor” of 2004 (whose own proposal/engagement to Jessica Bowlin was short-lived and appears to still be single) makes for the perfect host of this mockery of true love. I have no doubt that The Proposal will be a big hit this summer since its intended audience is the same crowd who watch The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

During tonight’s episode we meet Mike, but just like the women, we do not get to see what he looks like. We learn that he is a police officer and that he lost part of his leg off-duty during a traffic accident. He is brought onto the stage to sit in his “pod” concealed from everyone. Then the show quickly brings out 10 eligible women hoping to win his heart including:
TV Series Review
"Mike" (ABC)

  • Havilah who is an author, motivational speaker and … doll collector … something every man is looking for in a grown up woman.
  • The sloth-loving Kelly who is a skydiver and roller derby enthusiast who prances down the stairs with her roller skates on!
  • Riona is a medical student who is really proud of her calves. We also learn that her grandfather offered to pay to have her eggs frozen “but when it comes to love, she’s hoping to land sunny side up.”
  • Kendal is a neuropsychologist…and a baton twirler.
  • Life skills coach, Alona, “dabbles” in cheerleading and says that bad grammar is her worst fear. She is “sick of being alone-a.”
  • Ditzy Monica bedazzles her clothes.

After the 10 are presented, Palmer states that Mike will have to choose seven out of the “10 single gorgeous women.” He does so and then after the break, Palmer says that “these seven beautiful, brave women” will now “bare their souls and their bodies” as they parade in their finest beachwear. (Other episodes will feature a single woman ogling at seven men in their best beachwear.) Each are given a few seconds to tell Mike a little bit about themselves including this gem from Monica: “Let’s see. I’m carrying a mic and your name is Mike. This is appropriate…and comments like that is why I’m single.”

From the seven women, Mike eliminates three more but not before giving his heartfelt thanks for their bravery. “I see bravery every day out on the streets working with other officers,” says Mike. “But what you guys have done far exceeds that, so I truly thank you.” (Yes, he continues to call these women “guys” throughout the show.) Mike then asks each women a different question and each of them get 30 seconds to reply to him.

TV Series Review
Jesse Palmerm host of The Proposal. (ABC)
The women find out that Mike is an amputee and one looks positively horrified but says just the opposite stating that she looks on the inside for beauty, not on the outside. This statement rings so false since Palmer frequently mentions how beautiful each of the women are. He even tells one woman who become rejected that she has nothing to be ashamed of. Of course not! (Well, maybe for appearing on this show...)

Another woman is eliminated and then Mike’s best friend gets to come to the stage and ask each of the remaining women a question of his own. Mike then eliminates another woman and his friend joins him in his pod to discuss which of the last two women standing he should propose to. And then the preview screener just quits leaving me in the dark wondering who he finally chooses to spend the rest of his life with and if she accepts the offer or not. ABC “proposes” that I watch the show tonight to see what happens. I think I’ll pass.

The Proposal airs on Mondays at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

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