The Kids Are All Right centers around the situation created when two kids of lesbian parents want to find their sperm donor dad. The kids, Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson), are able to contact their “dad” once Joni turns eighteen. They do this without their parents’ knowledge. They meet Paul (Mark Ruffalo), a confirmed bachelor, at his organic/local restaurant. The meeting goes well, and the kids strike up a friendly relationship with Paul. Unfortunately, moms Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore) find out about the relationship, and this creates problems that continue throughout the movie.
Nic is a somewhat controlling, overprotective, strong, wine-obsessed doctor, while Jules is a stay-at-home mom who is a free spirit and has some failed businesses in her past. In this relationship, opposites do attract, but it creates some problems regarding how to manage the relationship their kids now have with the sperm donor stranger. Joni is leaving for college soon and is asserting her right to make her adult decisions, and Laser just wants to have a father figure in his life. To make things more complicated, Paul decides to hire Jules as a landscape designer for his backyard, and this just complicates things further.
The real turning point in the movie is when Jules and Paul decide to start an affair. Before this happened, I found myself thinking that something bad was probably going to happen in this movie to make it interesting. Up until that point, the movie was just about navigating the new relationships created with Paul’s arrival. Mistrust is created once the affair is found out. The rest of the movie is spent repairing the relationships that were damaged.
The Kids Are All Right had good performances by the actors, and I thought they were all cast well. I was disappointed that Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson did not get more screen time. Out of all of the main characters, they probably had the least amount of scenes. The movie mostly focused on Paul, Nic, and Jules.
For those who are more conservative or plan on bringing their kids to this movie, it has plenty of nudity and sex scenes. We see a vibrator and even some 70’s/80’s era guy on guy gay porn a couple of times. It was quite funny sitting next to my mother during the gay porn clips.
The Kids Are All Right was the toast of the Sundance Film Festival, so I had pretty decent expectations going into it. It was a good film with laughs throughout and even a bit of tearjerker towards the end. I just did not feel like there was a strong enough story to keep you interested in what happens to these characters. It felt like a long movie, but in actuality, it was only 104 minutes. I know there are people who will and do absolutely love the movie. A more well-rounded story focusing more on the kids and less on the parents and sperm donor triangle would have helped me enjoy the movie more.
I give The Kids Are All Right 3 “bottles of wine” out of 5.