I am still getting settled into my new San Francisco life and that means I have a lot of free time as I am looking for that dream job. The other day, in the afternoon, I found myself in line to see The Kids Are All Right. I love going to the movie theater solo but it dawned on me right away that not only was I they only person alone in the theater but I was also the only non-lesbian couple. The theater was packed with loving same sex couples. One couple in front of me at the box office said, “Wait, a matinee is $8, I guess it has been a long time since we have been to the movies. I love that we are having a date night in the middle of the day while the kids are at camp.” It made me so excited to see these mommies on a date. I smiled, got my ticket, got my obligatory kids pack with fruit snacks, popcorn, and Diet Coke in a convenient tray, and then I was seated. I have never really written a movie review so I am not quite sure what to disclose but here it goes….
I could tell by the trailer I saw a month ago at the Joan Rivers documentary that this movie was a total Carina movie. Thankfully, I now know myself well enough that my assumptions are correct. I adore Annette Bening on screen and in her personal life. She is the only woman that made an honest man out of Warren Beatty and for that I give her as much credit as Hillary. I have always loved the notion of “taming” a playboy, although we know that it can never actually be done. She is as gorgeous as can be but I love that she has 4 kids, a still standing marriage, and crow’s feet in Hollywood. Who does that? Mrs. Harris and Sydney Allen Wade are probably my favorite characters she has ever played and her role in The Kids Are All Right is just as fantastic. She is as real as they come. There is one dramatic scene with her in the movie and all you see is her face and that is all you need to see. Her face shows all.
I like Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo but they come across as so dopey compared to the depth of Annette’s character. Although, for those two their dopieness was part of their role.
This move was really a family film above all else and it was the most genuine well-rouned family you could hope for. Growing up in Santa Cruz and now living in San Francisco it is the kind of family I see around me and want to see more of on screen and in real life. The son in the movie is described as the “sensitive jock” and the daughter is as “smart as a whip.” This movie isn’t without its shares of sticky situation but all of these people are equipped enough to deal with them.
So often I find that lesbians are either portrayed as overly sexualized or so aggressive that no one can relate to them. This movie showed them for what they really are…women. Multi-dimensional women, you hardly ever see that in the movies for lead actresses and never for lesbian characters.
Did I like the movie? No, not that much. The story line was stupid (read: as trite as can be) and the movie ended extremely abruptly but I LOVED these characters. I could have watched them for hours and was sad when the film ended. What was going on in the film would never be able to top how memorable and relatable these people were. If you want to see smart, perfectly neurotic, and well thought out characters on screen, then watch this film. It is more than alright, it is all right.
My favorite summation of this film came from the Amateur Gourmet who I follow on Twitter…so here you have it in less than 140 characters and I could not agree more:
“The Kids Are All Right” is a terrific movie; it made me feel more human. Also? It made me wish I had a wife if only to have nicer bedding.
I left the film, sad it ended but happy that I got let into the lives of the people on screen. I watched the lesbian couples get into their very own volvo station wagons and felt like I magically had a better feeling of who they are and how wonderful their kids are that they would be picking up at camp.