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Heartbreaking true story behind Kevin Hart's Netflix movie Fatherhood

Everything you need to know about the true story behind the new film.

Published: Wednesday, 23rd June 2021 at 1:20 pm

In the new Netflix film Fatherhood, comedian Kevin Hart takes on a rather more dramatic role than we're used to seeing from him.


Hart stars as Matthew Logelin, a man whose wife passes away shortly after giving birth to their baby daughter, leaving him to navigate life as a grief-stricken single father.

The film is adapted from the bestselling book Two Kisses For Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love, which in turn is based on a real-life story – read on for everything you need to know or read our Fatherhood review.

True story that inspired Fatherhood

The real-life Matthew and Liz Logelin – whose names are not changed for the film – were high school sweethearts who had dated long-distance for several years before moving in together in Los Angeles.
Shortly after giving birth to their daughter Madeline, Liz tragically suffered a pulmonary embolism and died before she had even had the chance to hold her baby.
Speaking to The Guardian in 2011, Matthew Logelin described the pain he felt when he found out she wasn't going to survive.

"All of a sudden it hit me . . . she was going to die, today, here in this hospital," he said. "And she was never going to hold her baby. I always thought I'd be a good parent alongside Liz. Doing it alone had never occurred to me."

In the following months, Logelin processed his grief by writing a blog that explored his experiences, both of raising Maddy on his own and of seeking out other people who had been through similar ordeals.

The blog covered his daily life, including the grief he felt and the lighter moments as well – everything from Liz's memorial service to everyday things like buying albums at a record store.


The blog quickly acquired a keen audience of nearly 50,000 readers every day, with those readers admiring the candour and bravery with which Logelin wrote, and he soon made the decision to adapt it into a memoir.

That book, which was originally published in 2015, charted Logelin's relationship with Liz from their early dates through to her pregnancy, while also touching on his experiences with blogging and how the community of strangers his writing attracted help him deal with his grief.

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And, of course, the book also includes several insights into Logelin's relationship with his daughter, with all sorts of humourous anecdotes, some of which made it into the new film.

Logelin has always said Maddy's mother will continue to play a part in her life, explaining that he and their daughter still talk about her ever day.

Speaking to the Star Tribune in 2016, he said, "I don't know all the answers but, for us, it's worked really, really well. She seems incredibly happy."

Before taking on the role, Kevin Hart explained, "When I started reading this script, I was immediately touched and brought to tears. At [his production company] HartBeat, we seek to provide the audience with stories that evoke true emotions and this story does just that."


First published 18th June.

Fatherhood is streaming on Netflix from Friday 18th June 2021. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best TV series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide.

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