Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right focuses its attention on a lesbian marriage between Academy Award® nominees Annette Bening (American Beauty) and Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights). This, in itself, makes for an interesting topic for discussion, but after watching the whole film, it really strives to show the struggles that infect all marriages – be it straight or gay.
Directed by Cholodenko (Laurel Canyon) from an original screenplay that she wrote with Stuart Blumberg (Keeping the Faith), The Kids Are All Right stars Academy Award® nominees Annette Bening (American Beauty) and Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights). Nic (Bening) and Jules (Moore) are a suburban couple raising their two teens, Joni (Mia Wasikowska, Alice in Wonderland) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson, Journey to the Center of the Earth), in Southern California. But when the kids track down their "donor dad" Paul (Mark Ruffalo, Shutter Island), an unexpected new chapter begins for everyone as family ties are defined, re-defined and then re-re-defined.
As far as an entertaining movie goes, this is not something to sit down to lightly. It’s a conversation starter and a realistic film that reaches for the gut. As sexually charged as a lesbian film starting Bening and Moore might sound, unless you’re ready for a look at a portrait of a modern family with all its quirks and disasters, you should probably stick to the new Adam Sandler film.
The Kids Are Alright is not a fast moving film, but it would have lost its insight and potency if the story had gone too fast. It’s a smart film that has it’s funny moments, and there’s even a bit of sexuality thrown in as well. Bravo to Cholodenko for taking a chance and getting real.