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The Kids Are All Right (2010)

A 2010 movie directed by Lisa Cholodenko.

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Touching movie - minus the porno

  • Dec 31, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+1
is a story of two kids raised by a lesbian couple who then contact their sperm donor - or dad. I wouldn't call this a romantic comedy - it's certainly doesn't utilize the many jokes that could apply to such a situation. Rather, it's more of a romantic drama. As the story progresses, each character finds gaping emotional voids in their lives. While at first the reunion seems to go smoothly, some people might be getting along a bit too well.

The acting in The Kids Are All Right was generally strong, but not as exceptional as some of the other reviewers claimed. While I understand Annette Bening and Julianne Moore are supposed to be great actresses, too often their performances came across as caricatures of a character. Bening's Nic was completely type A, controlling, and rude. You almost find yourself tempted to root against her as her life falls apart. Moore's Jules was the opposite, underachieving and flighty. Neither performance veered far from these stereotypes.

Mark Ruffalo sometimes comes across as more stoned than charming, but fortunately it's just the kind of charming wistfulness called for in the role. His character probably grows the most throughout the film, and Ruffalo does a solid job portraying that growth without losing the essence of his character. Unfortunately, Josh Hutcherson was just there - his character didn't have a large role in the plot, and his performance didn't stick out.

However, the real star of the movie was Mia Wasikowska as the daughter Joni. I wouldn't have imagined anybody so young could exert so much command over a performance, but she manages to portray a character both awkward and strong-willed. She also manages to come across as a teenager interested in sexuality, but without being a floozy. Joni's multifaceted, complex character is much more realistic than the one-dimensional Nic and Jules, and it is to her credit that Wasikowska pulls it off so well.

I would have given this movie 4 stars if not for the gratuitous porno scenes and cursing. I'm not an overly sensitive type of socially conservative, but I just don't understand why Hollywood can't portray love and sex subtlety. And when I say porno, I mean pornography. The sex scenes really showed hardcore sex, breasts and all. And at several points the camera focuses on gay porno videos. I'm sorry, I for one don't like watching a movie with my family and then suddenly watching lesbian fellatio. It doesn't advance the story, isn't artistic, and diminishes the emotional power of an otherwise compelling movie.

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More The Kids Are All Right reviews
review by . July 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Way Better than All Right
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT   Written by Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg   Directed by Lisa Cholodenko   Starring Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson and Mark Ruffalo      Joni: Each of my mom’s used your sperm.   Paul: As in two? As in both of them?   Joni: Uh-huh, as in gay.      I don’t know if anyone has told you this already but family can be fairly complicated.  …
review by . July 08, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A few weeks ago, Entertainment Weekly ran a story about how box office numbers are down and it's quite possibly because the quality of movies is down. This, of course, was before Toy Story 3 came out and was both fantastic and hugely successful. One of the points in the EW article was that, at this point last year, five of the ten eventual Best Picture nominees had already been released, including the eventual winner. This year, no movie had yet come out which had any prayer of being nominated. …
review by . November 04, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
      A lesbian couple raising two kids conceived by artificial insemination is pretty much a definition of "unconditional family"... But how things will turn when the children will want to meet their "distant father" the sperm donor? This movie might give the answers you're looking for. It's a very nice build story... the characters are well developed and there's no ridiculous emotional process that they go through. It's an liberating and …
review by . July 13, 2010
"The Kids are All Right" is one of the most honest and intelligent films about family, relationships, and the institution of marriage you're likely to see or have ever seen. That the central characters are a lesbian couple doesn't matter in the slightest. Director/co-writer Lisa Cholodenko doesn't sermonize about homophobia or civil unions or moral values, but rather presents a sincere, complex, and universal portrayal an American family - imperfect and at times highly turbulent, but still loving …
review by . July 03, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
"The Kids Are All Right"    Lesbians Raising Children    Amos Lassen    Nic and Jules are a middle-aged lesbian couple raising two teenagers, Joni and Laser in suburban Los Angeles. All went fine until Joni listens to Laser and decides to find out about her biological father. She investigates, calls the sperm bank who puts her in touch with Paul who is willing to meet the kids that he never knew were his. Paul comes to visit and all "hell …
review by . August 23, 2010
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT has been heaped with praise from critics, including significant talk of Oscar nominations. The entire time I was watching the film, I couldn't help but wonder if at least some of that stemmed purely from a need to praise a film for showing a "normal" lesbian family...regardless of the quality of the film. I know viewers (or even just people who read a description of the film) who have problems with gay issues will no doubt bristle at this film and its efforts to "push an agenda." …
About the reviewer
Dominic J Nardi ()
Ranked #79
I am a recent law school grad with an interest in Southeast Asia legal issues. Unfortunately for my checkbook, ever since high school I have been addicted to good books. I have eclectic tastes, although … more
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Wiki

If the relationships that anchor Lisa Cholodenko's warmly funny films appear unconventional, their problems--their pleasures--remain universal. InThe Kids Are All Right(no relation to the Who documentary), she takes on a suburban Los Angeles family with two teens, Joni (Alice in Wonderland's Mia Wasikowska) and the unfortunately named Laser (Josh Hutcherson,The Bridge to Terabithia), and two mothers, Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (an atypically relaxed Julianne Moore), who conceived via artificial insemination. Now that she's heading off to college, Laser urges 18-year-old Joni to seek out their birth father, who lives in the area (her name comes from folksinger Mitchell). Though she hits it off with Paul (Mark Ruffalo, effortlessly charming), a motorcycle-riding restaurant owner, Laser has his doubts (troublingly, the 15-year-old's best friend uses "faggot" as an all-purpose epithet). After they introduce Paul to their parents, allegiances start to shift. While Nic, a doctor, serves as breadwinner (and disciplinarian), Jules, a homemaker-turned-landscape artist, provides the nurturing. Paul, on the other hand, lives free from attachments, inciting both curiosity and suspicion. Furthermore, Jules finds him strangely irresistible, which only expands the fissures in her loving, yet unstable union. As withLaurel Canyon, Cholodenko doesn't just create fully rounded characters, but entire communities. In the end,Kidsisn't about children vs. ...
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Details

Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Genre: Drama
Release Date: July 9, 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 106 minutes
Studio: Focus Features
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