Film Review: "The Kids Are All Right"

(Focus Features. 1 hour, 44 minutes. Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some teen drug and alcohol use. Directed by Lisa Cholodenko.) Julianne Moore (Jules), Annette Bening (Nic), Mark Ruffalo (Paul), Mia Wasikowska (Joni), Josh Hutcherson (Laser). Music by Carter Burwell, Nathan Larson and Craig Wedren.
Two siblings, Joni and Laser (Wasikowska and Hutcherson), decide to track down their biological father Paul (Ruffalo), much to the chagrin of their lesbian parents Nic and Jules (Bening and Moore). As Paul becomes more involved with the family, things get increasingly complicated. A warm and often funny portrait of a modern family.

This film really belongs to Moore and Bening. In a film full of great performances, their portrayal of a married couple is natural, believable and (in a word) terrific. Watching the two bounce off one another (Bening's Nic is pragmatic and logical; Moore's Jules is warm and intuitive) is a treat. Ruffalo's Paul is an interesting counterpoint: easy-going, moderately successful but lightly bohemian. Writer/director Cholodenko and co-writer Stuart Blumberg have penned a very sharp and funny script, but one thing shines above all else: this movie isn't about homosexual marriage; it's about marriage. They keep a very light touch to the movie, but the emotions ring true. On a side note, the soundtrack is nice, though it does fall a bit into the "generic indie soundtrack" mold. I'll grant you that if that's my harshest complaint (and it is), there's probably a lot to like here. I fully recommend it.
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Jared Counts

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Jared Counts moved to Houston in 1995, survived high school and college, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a degree in Communications (Media Production) and a minor in Film Studies...