July 24, 2010

The Kids Are Alright (07/24/2010)

Lettergrade: A

The Kids Are Alright is an ensemble drama about a family with two mommies where the children decide to get in touch with the man whom their parents selected as their sperm donor way back when. I enjoyed the picture thoroughly because the writing was natural and believable, characters felt authentic, and the casting was dead on, with Annette Benning and Julianne Moore as the couple, Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson as the kids, and Mark Ruffalo as the stoner frozen pop.

I saw writer/director Lisa Cholodenko's previous movie, 2002's Laurel Canyon, on cable years back and found it to be awfully sensationalist and outside of the realm of plausibly for much of its running time. As such, I was a little reluctant to see this fearing that it would be the same kind of thing. Nothing pisses me off more about a good drama than when characters do things that aren't justified by the story and which seemingly betrays who they are. I appreciated that The Kids Are Alright never does this. Although there are moments that push the boundaries of plausibility a little, the characters largely feel like they could be real people, and that they accordingly make real decisions.

A warning, however, is that the film does feature a handful of really graphic sex scenes. Normally, I have no problem with that sort of thing (and in fact, I seek it out), however, my mother was in town for the weekend, and for some reason I thought it'd be a good movie that we all would like. We did, but there sure was a lot of Julianne Moore ass and Mark Ruffalo junk-flashing before we got to the end.

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