The Kids Are All Right (2010)

The Kids Are All Right is the newest movie by Lisa Cholodenko, starring Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson.

Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore) are a rather average couple: They love each other, but their relationship is spiked with a thousand small problems. They have two teenaged kids: bright Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and slacker Laser* (Josh Hutcherson), both conceived with sperm from the same sperm donor. Now Laser wants to meet his “father”. Joni plays along and together they find Paul (Mark Ruffalo), who quickly turns all their lives upside down.

The Kids Are All Right is nice, has a brilliant cast and some great moments. Unfortunately, it drags on a little too long. And then it just stops without really ending.

The way the story and the movie was set up, it was practically impossible that the film get a real ending. At least without resorting to magical realism. I know that. But still. The way it ended was just a little unsatsifactory. But the rest of the film was well-written. I loved that the film had a lesbian couple at the center, and that homosexuality was a topic – but not an issue. It was not what the movie was about. [SPOILER] And I also loved that Jules could sleep with Paul but remain gay all the same. [/SPOILER]

The only thing I found rather lazy in the script was the way Nic finds out that [THE SAME SPOILER] Jules is sleeping with Paul. So you find hair in the drain of the house where your gay partner is working as a gardener and your first conclusion is not “she washed some dirt off” but “my lesbian partner is sleeping with a guy”. [/SPOILER] Maybe I’m too naive but that seemed weird to me.

Additionally, there were some very nice jokes and the characters were drawn very well. It helps, of course, that they got a really good cast. Even Josh Hutcherson (mostly known for being Steve in Cirque du Freak) could show that there’s some talent, though he certainly has the least flashy part. Annette Bening and Julianne Moore really are at their best here.

The biggest problem the film has is the pacing. It just goes on forever. And ever. I mean, objectively it’s not that long (not even 2 hours) but it still could have done with tightening.

Summarising: Watchable, especially for the cast, but not fantastic.

*His name is Laser. What choice did he ever have?


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