Based on the ebook by Matthew Logelin (performed by Hart), the movie begins at the funeral for his spouse Liz (“Them’s” Deborah Ayorinde), who died of a pulmonary embolism shortly after giving beginning to their daughter.

Devastated, Matt resists the pleas from Liz’s mom (Alfre Woodard, terrific as at all times) to let her take the child again to Minnesota, insisting on elevating her alone whereas making an attempt to handle a demanding full-time job with minimal help from his two fool buddies, performed by Lil Rel Howery and Anthony Carrigan (“Barry”). They aren’t a lot assist with duties like putting in automobile seats or assembling child furnishings, however three males and infants have a pretty profitable display screen historical past, so finest not to quibble.

Matt’s boss (Paul Reiser) additionally tries to be understanding, however he isn’t a lot better at it than the often tone-deaf guys, or the strangers who preserve cheerfully asking him the place the child’s mother is.

Directed by Paul Weitz (“About a Boy”), who shares script credit score with Dana Stevens, the movie derives appreciable comedy from Matt’s preliminary plight — together with visible gags, like inserting the diaper genie underneath a toy basketball hoop — however that is leavened by the crushing loss that he has skilled, and the nagging self-doubt about his parenting abilities.

“You think you can do this, but you can’t,” his mother-in-law tells him early on, a query that does not actually fade as child Maddy grows up into a little lady (the cute Melody Hurd, who additionally performed Ayorinde’s daughter, because it occurs, in Amazon’s “Them”).

Adding to the issues, Matt meets a girl, additionally named Liz (DeWanda Wise, the star of Netflix’s replace of “She’s Gotta Have It”), including a third ball to his juggling act, whereas making an attempt to stay centered on elevating Maddy as his main concern.

“I just want to do what your mom would have wanted me to do,” Matt tells Maddy, after butting heads along with her grandma.

Other hurdles emerge, however there’s actually not a complete lot extra to it than that past watching Matt develop to meet the calls for and quirks of parenting, and Hart — becoming a member of a lengthy legacy of comedic actors who’ve expanded to extra dramatic components — exhibit emotional depths not often related to the likes of his comedies or the “Jumanji” films. Weitz creates sufficient room for him to flex these muscle mass, however the widowed sitcom dad riffs are clearly secondary to the movie’s household underpinnings.

The press notes evoke one other former First Lady by referring to the “It takes a village” side of Matt’s story, however the enchantment of “Fatherhood” actually boils down to its title, the resilience of the human spirit, and Hart being daring sufficient — like his alter ego — to suppose that he can do that. And like Matt, by the time it is over, he is demonstrated that he fairly nicely can.

“Fatherhood” premieres June 18 on Netflix.

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