Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Kids Are Alright

Despite the fact that it's not about The Who and a lesbian hooks up with a dude, The Kids Are Alright was actually pretty good. I was really bothered by the whole premise going into it--two teenage kids of lesbian parents seek out their sperm donor and then one of the moms has an affair with him. I was afraid it would perpetuate the idea that being gay is just a lifestyle choice and every woman really wants sex with a man, but my dear friend Swinny told me it was "nice to the gays" so I went for it. 

The story is a bit contrived but the family characters and relationships are nuanced. The exception is Mark Ruffalo's eye-rollingly clich├ęd character, but the family's observations (and mocking) of him lend the role some credibility and context. With a cast like this you expect the performances to be up-to-par, but Annette Bening got her character (and broke my heart) on an even deeper level than I expected. The kids were surprisingly great (who knew the kid from Zathura had such depth?) and written as sensitive, interesting non-stereotypes. In the end this didn't feel like a movie about lesbians at all. It truly felt like a movie about families. Man, that sounds like a bad tag line doesn't it? But it really is true. The best testament I saw of that was the straight couple in the theatre that stood up after the movie was over and embraced in a long, emotional hug. Maybe these are just stars in my eyes, but I have a really good feeling about this film as one that can bridge some sort of gap and maybe be a stepping stone toward understanding and acceptance.

No comments:

Post a Comment