I’m surprised there aren’t more movies about kids looking up their sperm donors. The best part of watching The Kids Are All Right is that I avoided reading or hearing anything about it beforehand so everything—from the secondary actors to the plot points to the ending were a surprise.
In a nutshell, siblings 18-year-old Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and 15-year-old Laser (Josh Hutcherson) seek out and meet Paul (Mark Ruffalo)the man behind the sperm that created them. When their moms Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening) find out, they are threatened by Paul and worried about the kids.
(Spoiler Alert: Read at Your Own Risk!)
It’s funny: Great use of humor—quips, one-liners and verbal sparring.
Insightful details and characterizations: Joni and Laser are confident. They have real teenage moments and through these we learn what drives them. Their relationship with one another is strong and they are self-assured. The relationship between their moms Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening) is portrayed with its blemishes and struggles. Paul (Mark Ruffalo) is affected by his relationship with Joni and Laser and he grows up.
The ending: The way Paul is cut off from the Laser and Joni at the end was sloppy and offered no resolution. If this movie were longer, Laser and Paul would get likely be in touch again. They shared a connection but it would be difficult for the entire family to forgive Paul’s perceived “interloping.” I loved the idea of this blended family working out somehow.
Was Jules definitely gay? No way! I had difficulty believing that Jules was gay after her sex scenes with Paul. She was really into it MANY times over. At the very least, maybe she’s bisexual?
Co-writer/Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Run time: 106 minutes