I really want to believe the father Mark (Josh Hamilton). There he is pouring his heart out, trying to convince his daughter Kayla (Elsie Fisher) that, despite her very reasonable fears, she makes him happy. If I can believe him in this moment, then most concerns I have of being a parent are erased. That chief concern being how terrible it would be if your kid, who you are helplessly attached to, sucks. So again, I really want to believe him.
But I don’t.
I get that there are things you can’t truly understand until you experience them and that having a child falls into this category. Still, I remain skeptical that having a child is such a transformative experience that you lose all sense about the child. You’ll be biased, yes. You’ll love unconditionally, yes. But I can’t accept that these forces will be so overwhelming you’ll be able to ignore reality entirely.
Because that’s what Mark is doing in his fireside chat as he unbelievably forgets/lies/ ignores every single interaction with his daughter we’ve seen in the film. From the dinner table to the banana, being around her was awful. I’ll grant him that fatherhood would color these scenes more positively than if they involved a stranger. But happy? But like, yea I’m glad my daughter is home so she can make me feel stupid? Naw. Can’t buy it.