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The heartbreaking true story behind new Netflix film Fatherhood

Kevin Hart stars in the film as a single dad dealing with the loss of his wife

The heartbreaking true story behind new Netflix film Fatherhood

Fatherhood may have only arrived on Netflix last week, but the film has already skyrocketed to the number one spot on the streaming site's most-watched films worldwide. 

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Starring Kevin Hart, it tells the story of a father struggling to raise his daughter as a single dad after his wife suddenly dies.

The heartbreaking drama has left countless viewers in floods of tears but did you know that it's based on a true story? Keep reading to find out more…

WATCH: Check out the trailer for Fatherhood

The film is an adaptation of American writer Matt Logelin's best-selling memoir, Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love, which details his experiences of bringing up his daughter Madeline alone in the wake of his wife's passing in 2008.

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Matt tragically lost his childhood sweetheart and wife of three years, Liz just one day after the birth of their daughter. Liz had experienced a difficult pregnancy and Maddy was delivered seven weeks premature via an emergency caesarean section. While little Maddy was born healthy, just 27 hours later Liz died suddenly and unexpectedly of a pulmonary embolism. She sadly never got to hold her baby.

fatherhood real matt maddy© Photo: Netflix

The real Matt and Maddy, who is now 13, visited the set of the Netflix movie

Speaking on The Today Show, Matt explained that he initially set up a blog detailing his experiences of being a single father to keep his wife's memory alive before turning it into a book. "The only goal with this was to make sure that my daughter had some document of our time together, you know? Her Mama died, and I was the only one left with the memories," he said.

When it came to adapting Matt's story for Netflix, screenwriter Dana Stevens and director Paul Weitz consulted with the widower to ensure it was as authentic as possible.

fatherhood film© Photo: Netflix

Have you watched Fatherhood?

Discussing some of the film's most difficult moments, Matt explained: "That scene in the hospital where she collapses is where I really start to kind of lose it, because it's so incredibly accurate to my experience, with that kind of speed. After the greatest moment of your life, you don't expect your wife to die the day after, to not have actually held our daughter."

As for the moment in which the protagonist learns of his wife's death, he added: "That was exactly how that happened in real life. It was just awful."

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However, there are some aspects of Matt's story with which the filmmakers exercised some creative license. While the film takes place in Boston, Matt and his wife Liz actually lived in the state of Minnesota. Another change made for cinematic purposes was the characterisation of Matt's mother-in-law.

Although Fatherhood portrays her as a difficult presence in the protagonist's life, the real Matt has said that this couldn't be further from the truth: "She's the exact opposite of my actual mother-in-law. Candee is not overbearing. So that's one big deviation from reality."

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