Movie Review – The Kids Are All Right

It has been a long time since I’ve been to the movies.  In fact, the last movie I wrote a review about was “Date Night” on April 15th.  I have been busy and away on a few trips since then, but that is no excuse!  I’m a movie lover — I should have made time before now!  But – today, I fixed that and went to see “The Kids Are All Right”.  I had to go to Cary, anyway, so I checked out what was playing at the Crossroads 20 and decided on this one.

First, let me say that the popcorn at the Crossroads 20 theater is the WORST of any popcorn at any movie theater I’ve ever been to!  I knew this from past times I’ve been there, but still got the popcorn and was so utterly disappointed!  The bag is always 3/4 or better small crumbs with just a few popped kernels throughout and they measure the butter in a tiny cup before they pour it on the top!  BAD!

Now on with my review:

Viewer Alert — this is NOT for kids!!!  It is rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, and language.  Quite often I find these ratings to be overly sensitive and not always warranted.  But, this time — they mean it!  There is a lot of blatant gay and hetero sex, as well as a lot of “F” bombs dropped.  I only mention this because the previews make it look like it might be a nice movie a family might enjoy because it is about family relationships………I want to warn that it is really an adult movie and you should probably consider leaving the kids home.

The movie stars Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, and Mark Ruffalo.  Bening and Moore are married to each other and 18 years earlier they went to a sperm bank to get pregnant.  That visit resulted in a daughter, Joni.  A year or so later, they went back and got sperm from the same anonymous donor to get pregnant, again.  This time, they had a son named Laser.  When Joni turned 18, she petitioned the sperm bank to find out who the donor was.  Joni and Laser went to meet him – Paul, played by Ruffalo – and began a relationship with him.  As they all get to know each other and Paul gets closer to them, the relationships ALL get complicated and broken.

I like all three key actors and they didn’t disappoint in this film.  Mark Ruffalo’s character was the most likeable of all – he was fun and real.  He comes off as the bad guy, but I still found him very adorable.  Bening and Moore come across very genuine and comfortable as an on-screen couple.  I also liked Mia Wasikowska as the daughter, Joni.  She was sweet and natural.  They all made me believe they were a real family that I was eavesdropping on and I got involved in their story, their love, and their pain.

It is a good movie about life and relationships and feelings and family and all the complications that all these things bring.  It is beautifully acted and well told.  It is rather slow at times, though, and I felt like there were parts that didn’t seem to fit – like the relationship between Laser and his friend Clay – I’m not sure it added anything to the story.

All in all, it was good – some really funny scenes that had the whole theater (and it was just about full) laughing out loud – some touching and sad scenes, but it wasn’t “great”!  I took away points for being slow and having some parts that didn’t connect well.    I rated it a B- because I thought it had mostly good qualities and told an interesting story.

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