Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Kids Are All Right

Movie Review

In one word, this movie was refreshing. In a sea of disappointing summer flicks, what a gem this film was. To see wonderful actors at the top of their game, complex characters, a layered storyline and even an awesome soundtrack was a joy to behold.

The basic premise here is a longtime lesbian couple dealing with the fact that their two children have decided to contact their sperm-donor biological father.

Each actor seems to trump the next. Mark Ruffalo so embodies “the dude,” it seems like the role was tailor made for an upcoming Oscar nomination. Ruffalo makes it all look so easy that I think sometimes he’s overlooked. That’s impossible here as his presence fills up the screen and the characters and us easily fall for his charms. I’m not happy about him replacing Ed Norton as Hulk in the Avengers film, but I’m sure he’ll do a top-notch job as always.

Julianne Moore has such a powerful scene in this film where she explains to her family how difficult relationships can be and it’s believable for anyone gay or straight. I completely believed her as Jules, this creative sexy woman who constantly feels she’s not living up to the silent expectations of her partner Nic. Moore is vulnerable, kooky and sexy all at once, but just when you think she has successfully stolen the film away from Ruffalo, here comes Annette Bening.

Bening’s scene at the dinner with Ruffalo is reminiscent of Diane Lane’s powerful train scene in Unfaithful. Bening never utters a word and we watch as all the emotion pours over her and we’re all left in awe of just how powerful she can be.

Let’s not forget the kids here either. Mia Wasikowka and Josh Hutcherson are so believable and fully fleshed out as the kids. They love their moms, but although they may be considered an unconventional family, they do not escape the same teen angst that plagues every teenager.

I also want to mention how much I loved seeing a movie starring two older women that looked like two older women. Both Moore and Bening look their age and don’t have puffed up lips and tight faces. Now if one of them was overweight too, that would’ve been perfect! Wasikowka also looks too young to be going off to college which is how most eighteen year olds look (yeah I know in real life she’s twenty-one, but look at that girl!).

This film touches on so many subjects about family, marriage, relationships, you’d think it’s taking on too much, but it weaves its quilt so beautifully and believably that you wish you could stay with these characters long after the film ends.

My daughter cried, I cried. It was difficult to have the story line of the daughter leaving for college since mine will be flying the coop this time next year. I felt all those emotions and I’m not a lesbian, I don’t live an upper middle class life, and, hell, I don’t even compost like they do! The beauty of this film is shedding a light on the true things that make a family.


Rae said...

Hey Colleenie,

Thanks for the review The Kids Are All Right. I've actually been on the fence about seeing this movie...for a few reasons. However, after reading your review, I think I'm going to have to see it. Sounds like the acting was excellent and the plot was fantastic. Glad you enjoyed the movie. I'll let you know my take on it after we see it. :) Have a lovely day.

Karen said...

I didn't have too much interest in this movie but I keep hearing good things about it so maybe I'll check it out. The only good movie I've seen all summer is Toy Story 3.

Colleen Gonzalez said...

I hope you guys check it out and let me know what you think!

Daisy said...

Wow, you reminded me that I really want to see this!! I am a big Julianne Moore fan for all the reasons you describe, and also the fact that she doesn't run from her Daytime roots but embraces them (ATWT). And I do still remember the Diane Lane scene from Unfaithful. Amazing.

Daisy said...

Errm I think my post disappeared. Thanks for reminding me that I want to se this movie!! Julianne Moore is a remarkable woman -- love that she doesn't shy away from or deride, but rather embraces, her Daytime roots from ATWT. Loving her on 30Rock too.

And, I still remember Diane Lane's performance in Unfaithful. Wow.