Victoria Jelinek

The Kids Are All Right

A comedy drama: teenage siblings Joni and Laser live with their two mothers, Nic and Jules, lesbian life partners who both used the same sperm donor to have them. Laser convinces Joni to contact the donor, she does, and he bonds with the teens. Hard-working Nic is wary of the donor, while free-spirited Jules creates a tentative rapport with him and agrees to landscape his garden.

Annette Bening (American Beauty) and Julianne Moore (Children of Men) play Nic and Jules and are completely convincing as a couple. Child-rearing and two decades of marriage has put a strain on their relationship, which is only exacerbated when the sperm donor, Paul, played by Mark Ruffalo, (Shutter Island) enters the picture. The kids are well-adjusted and okay with the inevitability of change, signalled by the entry of Paul, but the adults have a harder time coping.

Astutely directed (Lisa Cholodenko, High Art), this is a keenly observed portrait of marriage tested, and of human behaviour in the face of change. A taut, modern, relevant and funny film whose characters and their actions are utterly relatable.

2 Comments so far
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Nice review writing…but I still don’t care to see this film. Not Miss Jelinek’s fault, it’s simply that I really don’t want to spend time with these people. I’ve seen the trailer over and over at the cinema’s and with each viewing, I became less and less interested in seing this film. (I wonder if studios realize that if you promote a film too far in advance of it’s release, regular filmgoes who have to see these trailers for 3 solid weeks like myself, may grow to DESPISE the film and never see it simply because it’s being jammed down our throats? I know many of you out there feel as I do. I hear the sighs around me once “that trailer” comes on again!)

Comment by Robert Salonder

Hi Robert,
Thank you for your comments, and fair enough. I didn’t like VICKY CHRISTINA BARCELONA even as I appreciated what Allen was attempting to do because I couldn’t stand spending two hours with the characters. Pleas consider re the inundation of the trailers in the theater that the key to learning is repetition, and this notion of repetition – and therefore familiarity – also has a basis in marketing…It’s a shame that it’s put you off, however, as it really is a good little film.

Finally, as a note, this film is an independent film (more impressive, given the star power in it) – it was not produced by a studio. It was, however, in some countries, released by a studio who is then obviously doing the distribution in that given territory and is then also responsible for the marketing (though the materials are provided by the sales company). In some instances a distribution deal done before the project is made can finance it and therefore they ARE producers, but I don’t believe that this was the case here (though certainly one would think with Bening and Moore, as well as Cholodenko’s success with HIGH ART, this could have been a ‘package’ that was pre financed with a distribution deal).

Again, thank you for your comments, Victoria

Comment by victoriakjelinek

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