Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Kids Are All Right Review

While two well known actresses portraying a same sex couple will draw a great deal of attention to The Kids Are All Right, those who check it out will find a very funny, entertaining and touching film about family and people trying to figure out who they are and where they are going in life.

Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening) are a married couple raising two children, Laser (Josh Hutcherson) and Joni (Mia Wasikowska). The entire family is going through some changes as Joni prepares to start college in the fall. The Moms are trying to figure out Laser's deal (he’s been acting strange lately), Jules is starting yet another business venture no one really believes will succeed, and on top of all that Laser is curious about the sperm donor who helped make it all possible. So when Joni turns 18, he talks her into looking the guy up. His name is Paul (Mark Ruffalo
), he has an organic garden and restaurant, and he's cool with just about everything... not to mention super sexy. Hutcherson and Wasikowska have shining moments, but the movie, despite its title, is really about the grownups. Bening and Moore give stunning performances! What did you expect? Even Ruffalo does an amazing job. He creates a character full of charm and appeal. He has to lure us in, but also turn us off at the same time. Ruffalo finds the right mix of good guy and bad guy in Paul, which takes a solid actor to do something like that.

The Kids Are All Right is filled with awkwardness, tension, humor, sadness and kindness. It’s far, far funnier than you might expect. In fact, the film stops just short of becoming a full-fledged comedy, preferring to exist in both worlds instead. I found myself smiling throughout the entire movie. I simply loved it! It’s an emotional, heartfelt movie that offers a portrait of marriage that is rich, and above all, honest. I will say though, they could have done without the nudity. Even though there weren’t a lot of nude scenes, I felt it unnecessary to get the point across. It didn’t enhance the movie one bit. If anything those scenes just cheapened it.

In conclusion, I feel nothing is as wonderful or as wretched as family. It remains the singular human connection within which joy and agony exists - those we love are sometimes the same as those we loathe. Director
Lisa Cholodenko and cowriter Stuart Blumberg crafted a story of connections made and connections gone awry with wit, warmth and wisdom. It's one of the year’s most, endearing and authentic films. I would have liked a few more scenes near the end to give a more satisfying conclusion, but all in all it's a terrific film anyway.

Let me know what you thought.


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