The Kids Are All Right
I realize that I’m a little Johnny-Come-Lately when it comes to The Kids Are All Right, but I can’t help but share my enthusiasm for this film. I will note that my tardiness is partly due to the lack of screenings in Salt Lake City. I knew from all the reports that this is a movie I would really enjoy. Julianne Moore is a genius (suck it haters). And Annette Benning even more so. And they play a lesbian couple named Nic and Jules? Yes, please. And it hits my area at a time when The Expendables and Step Up 3D are taking up a shameful number of screens. Thank you indie film gods.
The film is directed by Lisa Cholodenko. She also co-wrote the script with Stuart Blumberg, a former writer for MADtv. I don’t know for sure if Cholodenko is a lesbian, but if I were to make a guess based on The Kids, this picture, and her history with the show The L Word, I’m going to stereotypically say that she just may be. Either way, it doesn’t seem to matter as her film may have some subtle political subtext, but overall, it didn’t seem too… in-your-face-overturn-Prop-8-now! Her story is simply about a family. The ups, and downs, the joys and the pains. It just happens that there are two moms in this family, and no dad. Until the sperm donor, played by Mark Ruffalo shows up and starts spending times with Nic and Jules’ kids (played exceedingly well by Mia Wasikowska, and Josh Hutcherson). As you can imagine, jealousy, mistrust, and confusion start to destabilize this otherwise established family.
What convinces me that Cholodenko doesn’t have any sort of political agenda is the completely lake of prejudice against the family because of the two women who have chosen to create a family together. I’ll admit, this was a relief. I personally don’t have a problem with gay marriage, but I prefer not to use the struggle for acceptance as entertainment in my films. Cholodenko chose to spent her time examining the dynamic of this family, and she did it very well. During one scene in the film, Nic and Jules decide to try and accept Paul the sperm donor into their circle. Over dinner, Paul makes a toast to an ‘unconventional family.’ Perhaps this is the best quality of the film, it demands us to really contemplate what makes a family?
Cholodenko’s pacing is excellent and she makes the best of every shot. She truly is a gifted filmmaker, and you should all go see her film as soon as possbile. Even though the chances are that you’ve all, all ready seen it.