The Kids Are All Right stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as a middle aged, upper middle class lesbian couple in Southern California, whose relationship problems are magnified under the stress of their two teenage children's (one of whom is named Laser) freewheelin', organic farming sperm donor (Mark Ruffalo) suddenly becoming a part of their lives. That description may be a hard sell (it certainly was for me), making the movie sound like some seriously insufferable, overly quirky arthouse garbage, but the movie's script, direction and cast transcend what could have been the most annoying movie I've seen since 500 Days of Summer. This movie is actually incredibly good, refreshingly self-aware, honestly very funny and wonderfully moving. Who knew?
At the movie's core, it is wholly about how gay couples have the same mid-life crises and marital problems as straight couples do, and while that is true, it's far from the most interesting thing about the movie. It's 2010; anyone who would see this movie doesn't need a lesson in how gay people aren't aliens. What's brilliant about it is how it takes that premise and manages to use it to skewer yuppies, hypocrites, pseudo-intellectuals, pretension, drama queens, whiny rich white people, selfishness, the very concept of propriety, and even organic farming zealots, all while always circling back to show that no matter how messed up this family is, they love each other, they're fiercely protective of each other, and they're no different from your family. It's really quite an achievement.
And of course, the cast helps. Watching Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, two beloved actresses on the top of their games and, refreshingly, aging gracefully, act together -- and with great material -- was just wonderful. Mark Ruffalo was also superb, as he always is, and Alice in Wonderland's Mia Wasikowska beautifully rounded out the cast as Bening and Moore's over-achieving teenage daughter. Could the script have held up with a cast of unknowns? I think it could, but who cares? This cast is awesome, they elevated the material, and looking at famous people is super fun. And so is this movie. Maybe even more than Predators. Maybe.
See what Mark Ruffalo said about filming sex scenes with Julianne Moore.
Did you see it? Did you like it? Tell us below! And then check out our list of the most dysfunctional movie families ever.
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