Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"The Kids are Alright" - in theaters

Based on the television commercials that I saw that advertised this film, I expected it to be a lot funnier. However, much like "Lost in Translation", the laughs were somewhat few and far between.

Don't get me wrong though, I really enjoyed this film (unlike the film mentioned above, ugh). It centers around two women, Jules, played by Julianne Moore, and Nic, played by Annette Bening, and their two children, Laser (no joke, that's his name) played by Josh Hutcherson, and Joni, played by Mia Wasikowska. Now, Joni and Laser (seriously, who names their kid after a beam?) are curious about the man who inseminated each mom in turn, so since Joni's 18, she looks him up. The sperm donor is none other than Mark Ruffalo, at his scruffy, charming best, and he soon folds into their lives like a cheap suit.

At first, Mark Ruffalo's character Paul is very charming, and you really dig him. But as he continues to develop relationships with each of these family members, I find him to be less so. At one point he begins to have an affair with Jules, which eventually, the entire family uncovers. I guess what's so icky (for lack of a better word) is the way that Paul behaves and how he weasels his way in to everyone's lives. He's quite a sleazeball when you think about it more, and it sort of makes my skin crawl.

And skeezebag though he may be, Mark Ruffalo does an excellent job at it. All of the cast should be commended on their performances, as they were all very believable, and they all make you care about what happens to this family. It's surprising that this movie came out during the summer as opposed to making a winter Oscar run, but hopefully at nomination time, it won't be forgotten.

So on the CWeave scale, I give this movie an 8. Points off for lacking humor, but bonus points to Josh Hutcherson, who shows a lot of potential.

Now, as a sex educator, I have to throw in my 2 cents. I understand how this movie could spur some controversy given that the main character identifies as a lesbian, yet has an affair with a man. Personally, I don't find this horribly upsetting, because I think that you're attracted to who you're attracted to, and that can't be helped. Labels are just labels, and they shouldn't define every feeling or behavior that occurs. I prefer to think of sexual orientation as fluid, which allows for change and deviation. But again, that's just my opinion...

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