The opinions I’ve heard about The Kids Are All Right have run the gamut from ‘great indie film’ to ‘whatever word is the opposite of misogyny.’ It got a Globe nomination for Best Screenplay and on the whole I’ve heard good things so I had to check it out.
I don’t know whether this is a good or a bad thing, but I think there’s some value on all the opinions I’ve heard, good and bad. The premise (a pair of kids who were the products of an artificial insemination seek out and find their biological father) is filled with landmines, while being original at the same time. What starts in the first act as a lighthearted 21st Century “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, takes a rather interesting (and for my tastes too convenient) turn halfway through the story. The turn didn’t ruin the film for me, I just thought there were other ‘conflicts’ that could have been used.
That said, the three main actors all did a great job creating sympathy for their characters. Mark Ruffalo plays ‘the Dude’ who suddenly finds out he’s created this family, and now in middle age wants to be a part of it. Julianne Moore plays the slightly more free-spirited of the two Moms of the family; with Annette Bening getting the rather thankless role as the ‘head’ of the family, who comes across as a hardass until well into the third act. Surprisingly none of them were nominated for the Globes though in this film where they all have fairly equal screen time, they may have been seen as an ensemble no one outshined the other two (which I can’t argue).
Good, quiet film that may or may not pick up momentum the next couple of months. We’ll see.