227th Movie Review: The Kids Are All Right (2010)

They’re all right indeed!

Let’s get this one right off the bat: The Kids Are All Right is a well-acted ensemble piece. Once you watch it, you’re not gonna wonder why it was nominated for Best Picture. Still, I think there’s an explanation why it didn’t win; and I’ll talk about it later on

The son of a same-sex couple seeks out the sperm donor who made his birth possible. The committed parents of two teenage children, Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore), are about to send their daughter, Joni (Mia Wasikowska), off to college when her younger brother, Laser (Josh Hutcherson), asks for her help in tracking down his biological father. Reluctantly inquiring with the sperm bank, Joni leaves her number so the office can pass it along to Laser’s father. Enthusiastic at the thought of meeting his long lost offspring, Paul (Mark Ruffalo) musters the courage to reach out, and the family tree grows a new branch. -John Buchanan

It all starts with Laser and Joni’s awkward reunion with their biological father. Later on, their relationships blossom, making one of their moms, Nic who is a sort of control freak worried that their sperm donor could tear apart their family. The situation gets even worse when Jules starts having an affair with Paul. It seems like their unconventional family was gonna be broken any time soon. However, after a time of heartbreak and silence, they finally forgive each other. In the final scene they send Joni to college, wishing her good luck with Paul out of the family picture.

The story was definitely interesting as I was glued to the screen the whole time wanting to know what happens next in their lives. It’s a well-made drama that doesn’t bring too much emotions so as to prevent the movie from losing its pace. It’s light and it’s easy to follow. The whole idea of having a family with two lesbian mothers each conceiving a baby with the help a single sperm donor is definitely intriguing. It’s unique, but that doesn’t mean it’s automatically great.

Let’s get to the negative parts. Mark Ruffalo’s character wasn’t given a fair ending as far as I’m concerned. I know what he did was wrong, but it also made him more mature. I hope director Lisa Cholodenko, gave him some extra time in the end as well as the whole family to give us some sort of idea of what their future would be like. I do hope that Paul found the right woman in the end.

The speed of the movie was also slow. It wasn’t technically draggy, but I felt that the movie was playing 0.9x the normal speed most of the time. Or maybe I’m just used to fast-forwarding in my VLC player.

Nevertheless, the rest of the movie was good. The 5 main characters were definitely portrayed well by all actors. Props to Annette Bening and Julianne Moore for being believable as a lesbian couple. Hutcherson and Wasikowska proved that they also have something to off and they definitely showed their potential in this film. Ruffalo’s performance was good so  I won’t be worried anymore when he takes on the role of Bruce Banner in the upcoming Avengers movie.

The movie is all right. It’s not exactly the best or the most controversial movie out there, but it has that light feeling that you don’t see much often in movies made for the Oscars.

GRADE: B

I agreed with the majority

External Ratings:

Rotten Tomatoes: 94% Fresh, 7.8/10 Rating

Internet Movie Database: 7.3/10 User Rating

Metacritic: 86/100

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