The Kids Are All Right

The Kids Are All Right

What he said:


I had not heard of this film during its run in the theaters. I am assuming it had some kind of limited run. The first I saw of it was during a preview on another DVD I rented and I am glad I came across it.

It’s the story Nic and Jules (played very well by Annette Bening and Julianne Moore respectively) and their two children Joni and Laser (yes Laser). One day, Laser decides he wants to meet his biological father, so he convinces his sister (who is 18) to contact the sperm bank where their moms got the stuff. Long story short, they get a hold of the guy. His name is Paul (played by Mark Ruffalo), they meet and all kinds of non-traditional laughs and drama take place.

If you like quirky, offbeat stuff this one should be up your alley. Sometimes that type of film can come off a little pretentious, but this one succeeds in avoiding that kind of unappealing nonsense. Think of something along the lines of Little Miss Sunshine, though not quite as endearing (and with more naked people).

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on December 8, 2010.  

What she said:


First of all, a word of caution.  This is definitely one of those films that you don’t want to watch with your parents, unless you are part of one of those liberal families that can communally watch nudity and think nothing of it.  That said, this movie is also pretty good. 

Julianne Moore and Annette Benning play a lesbian couple who used a sperm donor to conceive their two children.  They have a fairly normal functioning, albeit unconventional family.  The eldest daughter, Joni, just turned 18 and is moving off to college in just a matter of weeks.  Joni’s 15 year old brother, Laser (yes that’s really his name), talks her into reaching out to their donor father, Paul, played by Mark Ruffalo.

As Paul enters into the their lives the family is turned upside down, and bonds are challenged to the extreme.  The movie is a lesson in confronting change, strength, and forgiveness.  There is no completely unflawed character in this film, although the children actually seem to have it together better than the adults.  While some of the plot seems a little out there, bordering on contrived, I guess it’s technically plausible, and remains relatable for most viewers.  The dialogue is smart and genuine, and the acting is strong all around. 

Although some of the situations and characters will test your patience, you begin to empathize and understand the vantage points of all involved.  The Kids Are All Right offers a compelling and interesting character study.  It’s a worthwhile viewing.

Bottom Line: Thumbs up.