Like my book reviews site, these are movie reviews I write for entertainment purposes only. These are just my reviews and my opinions. They are not endorsed by Blogger or any movie studios or anyone else. So there. I borrowed my scoring system from the Metacritic site, which does not imply an endorsement from them, although I think they do have a very nice website. I convert the 1-100 scores into 1-4 stars, essentially it works like this:

1 star = 25 points
2 stars = 50 points
3 stars = 75 points
4 stars = 100 points

And then if something falls about halfway between, then I'll give it an added half-star.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Kids Are All Right

If a gay rights group were to have a poster family for a same-sex household, this would probably be the one they'd pick.  Matriarch Nicki (Annette Bening) and her "wife" Jules (Julianne Moore) are in their 40s and still seemingly in love.  They have a pretty and smart 18-year-old daugher Joni (Mia Waskikowska, that girl from the "Alice in Wonderland" movie) who is Ncki's biological daughter and a 15-year-old son Laser who is Jules's biological son.  Nicki is the one who's brought home the bacon as a doctor while Jules has raised the kids after dropping out of college, though now Jules is trying to start a landscaping business.

Everything seems fine until Laser rocks the boat by asking Joni to call the sperm bank where their mothers went to get pregnant.  They find out that their father is Paul (Mark Ruffalo) who runs an organic farm and small restaurant.  The kids covertly meet with Paul and while it's awkward they want to see him again.
Eventually Nicki and Jules find out and they want to meet Paul too.  Things get more complicated when Paul hires Jules to landscape his backyard.  Maybe you can guess in what way.  What happens with that and with Paul spending time with the kids just about destroys this unconventional family.

A couple things I found interesting is that after the kids meet Paul, they seem to get pushed more to the side as the movie focuses more on the Nicki/Jules/Paul triangle.  It seemed like some issues with the kids (especially their sexuality issues) sort of got left on the table.  Also for a movie about a lesbian couple the only sex depicted was hetero sex.  That should make the average moviegoer feel more comfortable.  I mean gay kisses are one thing, but gay sex is another, right?

The movie seemed to lag at times, but for the most part I thought it was good.  There's just the one plot twist with Jules/Paul, but that's pretty much it.  The rest is about as organic as the stuff Paul grows.  The movie makes the point that a family with two mothers is still the same as a traditional family in a lot of ways.  A point I made a year ago and that "My Two Dads" made back in the '80s.

I don't think this had a long theater run, but you might hear about it more during awards season.  I wouldn't be surprised if Annette Bening or Julianne Moore were nominated for Supporting Actress.  You know, big names in an issue movie is the kind of stuff Hollywood goes for.

That is all.

My score:  75/100 (3 stars)
Metacritic score:  86/100 (3.5 stars)

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