A lesbian couple's children reach out to their sperm donor
father, causing a stir in their non-traditional family life.
The Kids Are All Right (2010)
Directed by Lisa Cholodenko
Written by Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg
Starring Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Mark Ruffalo,
Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Actress (Annette Bening), Best Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo), Best Original Screenplay
The Kids Are All Right is a solid dramedy about family values and loyalty. It's pretty hilarious, but also fairly dramatic thanks to the fantastic performances from the entire cast. It's a simple premise done very well. A lesbian couple's two kids track down their sperm donor father and get to know him, which causes a rift between the kids and their moms, then later between the moms themselves. The most interesting thing about it is that there's no real bad guy here. Everyone shares the blame for being an asshole at one time or another, and in the end, you feel bad for everyone.
Nic (Bening) and Jules (Moore) are married with two teenage kids, Joni (Wasikowska) and the ridiculously named Laser (Hutcherson). You get the idea that Nic is a bit controlling and Jules is unhappy. Independently, Joni and Laser track down their parents' sperm donor, a happy-go-lucky restauranteur named Paul (Ruffalo). Paul bonds with the kids and becomes a part of their family, which doesn't sit well with Nic, who sees Paul as a threat. When Paul and Jules start sleeping together, everything changes and a lot of trust is broken. The script is brilliant and the characters all feel very real, thanks to the awkward and realistic dialogue throughout.
This is an indie film that will be remembered. It's a funny watch at first, and it evolves into a sad watch. But the whole time, you never doubt the film's authenticity. Every actor is fantastic in it, the ending leaves things a bit open-ended but not too much, and it's ultimately very touching.