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Kids Are All Right [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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The Kids Are All Right is the heartfelt new comedy from acclaimed director Lisa Cholodenko, starring Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, and Mark Ruffalo. Two teenaged children (Alice in Wonderlands Mia Wasikowska and Journey to the Center of the Earths Josh Hutcherson) get the notion to seek out their biological father and introduce him into the family life that their two mothers (Bening and Moore) have built for them. Once the donor (Ruffalo) is found, the household will never be the same, as family ties are defined, re-defined, and re-re-defined.
If the relationships that anchor Lisa Cholodenko's warmly funny films appear unconventional, their problems--their pleasures--remain universal. In The Kids Are All Right (no relation to the Who documentary), she takes on a suburban Los Angeles family with two teens, Joni (Alice in Wonderland's Mia Wasikowska) and the unfortunately named Laser (Josh Hutcherson, The Bridge to Terabithia), and two mothers, Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (an atypically relaxed Julianne Moore), who conceived via artificial insemination. Now that she's heading off to college, Laser urges 18-year-old Joni to seek out their birth father, who lives in the area (her name comes from folksinger Mitchell). Though she hits it off with Paul (Mark Ruffalo, effortlessly charming), a motorcycle-riding restaurant owner, Laser has his doubts (troublingly, the 15-year-old's best friend uses "faggot" as an all-purpose epithet). After they introduce Paul to their parents, allegiances start to shift. While Nic, a doctor, serves as breadwinner (and disciplinarian), Jules, a homemaker-turned-landscape artist, provides the nurturing. Paul, on the other hand, lives free from attachments, inciting both curiosity and suspicion. Furthermore, Jules finds him strangely irresistible, which only expands the fissures in her loving, yet unstable union. As with Laurel Canyon, Cholodenko doesn't just create fully rounded characters, but entire communities. In the end, Kids isn't about children vs. adults as much as the family unit vs. the singular outsider. Though the story concludes on a relatively happy note, it's clear where her allegiances lie. --Kathleen C. Fennessy --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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