Sunday, January 02, 2011


THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (drama/comedy)
Cast: Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson, Yaya DaCosta, Kunal Sharma, Rebecca Lawrence and Eddie Hassell
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Screenplay: Stuart Blumberg and Lisa Cholodenko
Time: 104 mins
Rating: * * * 1/2 (out of 4)

From left: Bening, Moore, Hutcherson, Wasikowska and Ruffalo

Joni, 18, and her 15-year-old brother Laser (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson)
look like typical American suburban kids of California. Although they have different moms, they share the same father and they have no doubt that their parents, Nic and Jules, love and care for them very much even if they are facing marital problems lately.

Sounds like the typical American family? Well, yes, except that Nic and Jules are lesbian parents played by Annette Bening and Julianne Moore respectively. When the movie opens, the kids are meeting up with their biological father, Paul (Mark Ruffalo). Paul donated his sperm to Nic and Jules during his college years - and he is really happy to see the results. Things come to a head when the kids introduce Paul to their moms...

HITS & MISSES: It is fun and entertaining to see Bening and Moore as a middle-age lesbian couple. They share the same problems as any normal folks. Now that Joni is going off to college, Jules feels neglected by her spouse Nic and when Paul comes along, she finds more than solace in him. Nic seems preoccupied with herself - and perhaps her own self-importance, opening her relationship to interlopers'. Bening plays Nic handsomely, and we can even see many male traits in her. Moore has a more sympathetic role - one that many women her age can understand and relate to.

Throw Ruffalo into the mix and we have a rather raunchy comedy that borders on the inevitable. What I mean is that even if Paul were not around, someone else - male or female - would have taken his place with Jules. she is that vulnerable. The kids are okay too. Wasikowska (who starred in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland) displays more of her talents and is a delight to watch, while Hutcherson provides solid support (and eye candy for girls). The one who has the most fun is Ruffalo - as the bohemian ex-hippie who gets to relive his youth and enjoy an instant family.

THE LOWDOWN: The kids may be all right but the adults aren't!

(This movie was viewed in Indiana, USA, and blogged because it is a possible Oscar contender. It is not scheduled to open in Malaysia).


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