What You Need To Know:
INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED is a heartwarming Mexican drama, but with some vile elements. Valentín is a playboy, until one day an ex-girlfriend leaves him with their young daughter, Maggie. Finally taking responsibility, Valentín takes on the role of Maggie’s father. He lies to Maggie, however, writing pretend notes to her from her mother, Julie. In Maggie’s eyes, Julie faces incredible odds to help the world, but in reality, Julie left her daughter. Maggie longs to meet her mother. Valentín almost hires an actress to pretend to be Julie. Eventually, Julie wants to come visit Maggie. However, she tries to get full custody of Maggie.
INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED has some funny, sweet moments. The young actress playing Maggie is an absolutely adorable, great actor. The movie’s weak spot is the plotline. The filmmakers tell too many stories. INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED has a mixed pagan worldview, with New Age references to a spirit wolf meant to symbolize the father’s fear. Other problems include promiscuous behavior, lying, some foul language, and a dysfunctional family. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED.
(PaPa, FRFR, B, C, Ho, LL, V, SS, N, A, D, M) Strong mixed pagan worldview with some New Age content, some solid moral and redemptive content in movie’s premise, and overt homosexual references; 11 obscenities, two “f” words, one profanity, some crude and scatological comments; main character is a stunt man so he hits against a wall multiple times, falls from high buildings, is dragged by a car, and gets bruised, dog attacks man, man electrocuted, little girl gets into fight with other girls; strong sexual references includes implied sex with multiple women, implied threesome, lesbian women lives with her partner; upper male nudity, woman in underwear, rear nudity; very light drinking; smoking, but no drug use; and, dysfunctional family, lying.
INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED is a heartwarming Mexican movie about a man who has to learn responsibility, when his baby daughter is left on his doorstep. INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED has some sweet moments but is marred by too many storylines, lots of lying and some New Age content.
Valentín’s father has always stretched him to face his fears. One of his biggest fears is commitment. So, Valentín shies away from serious relationships. One of his ex girlfriends, Julie, comes to his door and drops off his baby daughter, Maggie. In shock, Valentín tries to track down Julie, going all the way to Los Angeles to find her.
Valentín finds where Julie use to work as a pool instructor. While Valentín is trying to find answers, Maggie is left alone and falls into the pool. Facing another fear, Valentín jumps off the balcony to save Maggie. A movie producer, Frank, sees Valentín do this stunt and hires him as a stuntman.
Years pass, and Maggie is now 6-years-old. She even helps her father do incredible stunts. The two have a sweet relationship. Valentín has committed to being a loving father, but he lies often, writing pretend notes to Maggie from her mother. In Maggie’s eyes, her mother faces incredible odds to help the world, but in reality, Julie has left her daughter.
Maggie longs to meet her mother, and Valentín almost hires an actress to pretend to be Maggies mom. When Julie actually calls up Valentín, saying she would like to see her daughter, Maggie is ecstatic, but Valentín still holds a grudge. Julie turns out to be a lesbian lawyer who takes Valentín to court for full custody.
INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED has funny and sweet parts. The young actress who plays Maggie is absolutely adorable and a great actor. The weak spot in the film is the plot line, since there are too many story lines. Even a surprise ending that was unnecessary and sad. INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED could have been a lot better because the comical elements were there along with the sweet parts, but there was just to many unnecessary plot elements.
INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED has a mixed pagan worldview. Despite some moral, redeeming elements, the movie includes some New Age, pagan content. For example, a spirit wolf appears to show the father’s fear. Also, Maggie uses a charm to revive her father after he falls from his stunts. The movie also shows a dysfunctional family dynamic, where the father is a single parent until the lesbian mother returns. Finally, the father often lies, though there are some redemptive themes when he gives up his playboy life to love and protect his daughter. Because of these problems, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED.