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The Kids Are All Right
DVD disk
Nov 12, 2010 By: Chris Bumbray
The Kids Are All Right order download
Director:
Lisa Cholodenko

Actors:
Annette Bening
Julianne Moore
Mark Ruffalo

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Jules (Julianne Moore), and Nic (Annette Bening) are a happy lesbian couple, raising two teen-aged kids (Mia Wasikowska, and Josh Hutcherson) that they conceived with the help of a sperm donor. When the kids go looking for the donor, they discover Paul (Mark Ruffalo)- a kind and appealing man, that both kids immediately take a liking to. Jules, and Nic welcome him into the family, in an effort to allow the kids to know their birth father. Hilarity ensues...
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Its incredibly gratifying that THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT ended up being one of the sleeper hits of the summer movie season. This was a film I caught on my last night at The Sundance Film Festival in January, and it was one of my favorites, in a festival full of great films. In my review I predicted that it would catch on once the general public got a hold of it, as it truly feelsmodern. In some ways its like the great series, MODERN FAMILY. Both this film, and that series acknowledge that the 21st century family is no longer the nuclear ideal, with Mom, Dad & two kids. Nowadays, youre just as likely to get a single mother, two moms, two dads, a single dad, etc. Whatever works I say, just as long as its a happy family.

I must admit to being somewhat shocked that this is such a fun film, as director Lisa Cholodenko is not known for comedies. Her previous films, LAUREL CANYON, and HIGH ART were both fairly somber melodramas about modern sexuality. THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT also explores those themes, but the approach could not be more different, and it`s a credit to Cholodenko`s skill as a filmmaker that she`s able to make the leap into comedy so effortlessly.

One of the big selling points of the film has to be the cast, which is pitch-perfect. As the loving, lesbian couple, Annette Bening, and Julianne Moore are wonderful. Neither is particularly known for their work in comedies, but both show a natural flair for humor. Moore plays the flakier side of the couple, with Bening playing the straight-arrow provider. Sundance 2010 has been incredible for Bening, as she had another great role in MOTHER & CHILD. Watching both films back to back, it`s incredible that she was able to switch from gut-wrenching drama to light comedy so easily, and hopefully she`ll continue to get quality roles that allow her to shine. As for Moore, it`s nice to see her having fun in a role, as she has a tendency to appear in heavier films, like A SINGLE MAN. This is a nice change of pace for her, and she acquits herself nicely (her explanation of the lesbian love of gay male porn is classic).

As good as Bening and Moore are, for me, Mark Ruffalo has to be the real scene-stealer. In less capable hands (and with a less compassionate director), he probably would of come off as the antagonist, with him threatening the sanctity of the lesbian household. However, even though he does indeed threaten Bening and Moore`s relationship with both the kids, and each other, he`s never anything less than 100 percent likable. You can understand why the kids like this organic food harvesting, motorcycle riding rebel, who`s a stark contrast to their `Moms`(which is what they call Moore & Bening). My only problem with the film is that I found his character arc was left somewhat unresolved. I was hoping that he would get a bit a closure in the final scenes, which doesn't really happen, as he kind of fades out of the plot in the last ten minutes of the film. Perhaps there are some deleted scenes somewhere, although, sadly- there are none on the DVD.
THE EXTRAS
The extras are a tad disappointing, as I was honestly expecting some deleted scenes that would give Ruffalos character some closure. Sadly, there are none. Instead we get a standard commentary with director Lisa Cholodenko ; The Journey to Forming a Family which is a brief conversation between Moore, Bening, and the director. The extras are rounded out by two more EPKs, The Making of The Kids Are All Right , and The Writer's Process .
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
For me, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT is a damn near perfect comedy, marred only by the lack of resolution for Ruffalos character. Sadly the DVD does not rectify this, but I still really enjoy this film. Its a terrific indie comedy, and a great, warm look at an unconventional modern family.
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