“The Kids Are All Right” paints such an interesting portrait of a specific American family. It touches on a lot of issues and themes that most people will recognize from their own families and some that might be new to a lot of people.
The story involves two girls named Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening), a lesbian couple living in California. They each have given birth to a child from the same anonymous sperm donor. Their kids are Laser who is 16, and Joni who is 18. Now that Joni is of age she can legally look up who their biological father, Paul played by Mark Ruffalo.
Laser and Joni go to meet Paul without telling their mothers. Things go well as they find him to be pretty laid back and living a quiet Bohemian lifestyle. When Nic and Jules find out they invite Paul over for dinner. Where things go from there even I could predict. The results were surprisingly touching.
I found myself thinking about how brave it was for Bening and Moore to take on roles like this. They make it seem so effortless and natural. A movie like this might surprise people with how the problems and issues these characters are having are so similar to their own. Doesn’t matter if they are lesbians or a heterosexual couple, the same problems and emotions exist.
The performances are some of the best I have seen this year. Jules and Nic could not be more opposite in personalities. Nic is firm in her rules of the house and is direct in her approach to dealing with problems. Jules seems more passive and relaxed in her personality. What’s more interesting is how both of them conflict and identify with Paul in different ways.
The director is Lisa Cholodenko. She directed a movie a while back called “Laural Canyon”. What is amazing is how she can tell a complicated story in such a clear way. Everything unfolds naturally and unforced. The characters personalities push along the plot just like life.