Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday Movie Night: The Kids Are All Right (2010)

Lisa Cholodenko has helped with television shows that are quite notable including Six Feet Under, but The Kids Are All Right is sort of her break through directed movie. What makes the movie work though is more so the chemistry the cast has, and the likability of Mark Ruffalo rather than any new directing additions, or story lines. After so much build up with the characters you sort of even hope for a more conclusive ending than the one given.

Jules and Nic are trying to raise their two teenagers and keep their sort of lifeless relationship together. The teens are growing curious about their biological father, and seek out finding out who their sperm donor was. Who they find is a guy named, Paul, who is sort of a hippie type guy who enjoys good music, and gardening. Once Jules and Nic find out their children have met him they insist upon meeting him also. Paul's presence in the family causes many disturbances though. The kids start to lean on him as a parent, and Jules find companionship she has been lacking in Nic. Nic begins to feel she might be losing her whole family to him.

The development of the characters throughout the movie is interesting to watch play out. You also have quite a huge cast of actors, so you are already expecting something to be good out of the door. The only thing is you don't quite get what all the hoopla was about after watching. It's good, but nothing that seems so different that you would notice it. It's a family drama seeming to build off the popularity of Modern Family without the comedy.

Julianne Moore, and Annette Benning are the first actresses you will notice first on the screen. They do both their parts well. Nic is the provider of the family and the more business forward person while Jules is sort of the creative, artsy type lacking the encouragement to drive her inspiration. Mark Ruffalo is really the stand out as Paul though. He is such a likable guy, and it's no wonder why it seemed like a bad set up when Jules starts hanging out with him a lot. Not only that but naturally being the father of her children it seems like an attraction might stir their anyways. Josh Hutcherson also plays their son, Laser, and Mia Wasikowska is their daughter, Joni. They feel like they could be a lot more interesting than they played out, but ultimately they just wind up their to be their parents kids.

Also, there are an excessive amount of scenes featuring not just nudity, but sexual positions, and if you are watching this with someone it would just feel weird. Sometimes you want to able to play a movie without worrying someone is going to walk in the room, and think you are watching porn. The other thing about the movie is the sort of abrupt ending. We sort of get some finality with Jules and Nic, but it all feels washed over too quickly considering what just happened, and there is also Paul. The audience likes Paul, and yet he just disappears. The Kids Are All Right could have added some scenes and backed off on a few.

The Kids Are All Right is a good thing for Lisa to have in her portfolio because it got her a lot of buzz, and it's a good pull for her movie career. What brings the movie to light is the actors, and the twists that constantly happen in the story. A more conclusive ending featuring all the characters could have really founded this movie more solidly though.

Rating 3 of 5.

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