Movie Review Rewind: The Kids Are All Right (2010)

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The Kids Are All Right is about an unconventional family yet includes issues that every person in every family deals with and can resonate with. This film has the perfect balance of drama and humor, and a spectacular cast that portrays natural, identifiable characters. The story is not too heavy, but is emotional and meaningful. It is a journey of a family trying to be just that: a family.

Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening) are a lesbian couple with two teenage kids, Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson), thanks to artificial insemination. Their family isn’t traditional but is acceptable for all of those that are apart of it. It works for them. As Laser and Joni are growing up, they become curious about their biological father, Jules and Nic’s donor. His name is Paul (Mark Ruffalo) and is an entrepreneur in the food business.

And without letting their mothers know, Joni contacts Paul and her and Laser meet with their father and invite him in to their lives to finally be included. And while Jules is okay about it, Nic is not. She feels Paul has taken over and she is losing her grip on her family. She has lost control. There seem to be no chaos in their family until Paul shows up. Paul really does change everything, but also helps Jules and Nic confront other problems in their relationship and with their kids.

The Kids Are All Right has five main characters and everyone can probably relate with one, a few, or all of them. Wasikowska (from Alice In Wonderland) plays Joni and she thinks she is an adult. She thinks she does not have to rely on her moms to do stuff for her. She does not need them. She is about to begin college and start a new life. Hutcherson plays Laser who is 15 years-old and getting in to what teenage boys get in to. And he is the one who gets Joni to call and try to contact their father. All his idea. Wasikowska and Hutcherson are fantastic as the kids and really connect with all of the emotions and curiosity a teenager can have, especially not having a father in their lives.

Ruffalo is wonderful as the father who never knew his sperm was used to create not one but two kids. The life he lives is spontaneous and for himself. But when he finally is introduced to Joni and Laser, he can see the bigger picture. He is a father and his life has changed forever. Paul is in a tough situation because he is walking in to a family that has been living and working for almost 20 years. He has missed a lot and is trying to make up for lost time, and it won’t be easy. Paul definitely shakes things up.

Moore is a bold actress who will tackle any role. Just watch this film or Chloe from earlier this year and you will understand. She plays Jules who is laid back and never has a steady job. She likes to try different things and never wants to fill stuck in one place. She does not sweat the small stuff and leaves the worrying up to Nic. At times, she feels unappreciated and ignored, but loves Nic and her kids without question.

Moore is so good in this film and has some of the best chemistry I have ever seen with Bening. They seem like a real couple. Bening is brilliant as Nic. Nic is the worrier. She is a doctor and has a nice steady job. She is use to being in control and being involved in everything. And this is why she views Paul as a threat. He is capable of taking everything she knows and loves away from her, including her wife and kids. Bening has already pulled out one great performance this year in Mother and Child, and she is even better in this. Her character is carrying the world on her shoulders, and maybe most of that is her own fault.

The Kids Are All Right is directed by Lisa Cholodenko, and she does a marvelous job capturing and depicting the spirit of what a family is and what they go through together and individually. This family is tested like all families are. It is a little slice of life. Whether a family is traditional or not, if there is no love then it is set for failure. But if one thing is for sure – there is love in this family. And I have nothing but love for this film.

“Nature Boy” Brandon Vick is the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and star of Brandon’s Box Office In Your Mouth. Follow him on Twitter @SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.

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