I gotta say, this movie was more than pretty alright. I saw this a long time ago, right about the time when summer was just about to end and I was put through a ringer of really bad blockbusters. Never in a million years did I think this film would have been nominated for Best Picture but now that I think of it, there's really nothing more modern, current and better than The Kids Are All Right.
So what we have here is an episode of Modern Family on Valium. Joni and Laser played by Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson are siblings belonging to their lesbian mothers who both mothered one of them using a sperm donor's sperm. When Joni is 18, she and her brother seek out Paul, their sperm donor heir go a crazy relationship between Paul, the kids and their mothers.
First off.. Mark Ruffalo, dude.. you're awesome. He's actually my favorite character in here, beating out Annette Benning's fantastic performance. I did wish his character had more closure and had a more sweet ending but an indie comedy can only stay sweet for so long. His character is just such a cool guy, very laid back and sometimes awkward to the point that it's laugh out loud funny just watching him stone his way through the train wreck of the twisted plot of the film.
I'm not sure if Ruffalo intended this, but I loved the way he executed the comedy with his character. He doesn't go all out like Jim Carrey. but rather ground the humor in the subtle, awkwardness of his facial expressions and voice. His method reflects that of Ty Burrel and Julie Bowen of Modern Family. Respect.
Annette Benning's tight wired performance as Nic, juxtaposes Mark Ruffalo with uncomfortable flair. I don't think that she should have been nominated, because quite frankly this is the poorest out of all of Benning's nominated roles. She's pretty much playing a lesbian, over the top, one dimensional version of Carolyn Burnham and while it did make for some good laughs, I found myself being really annoyed by her.
But the scenes with her and Julianne Moore were amazing. You know, for a lesbian movie.. there's really not much lesbian content as far as sex goes. What we have with is just a very cute, genuine, organic relationship between these two characters doing average, normal cute things. The only difference is that they are homosexuals.
It's a really profound social statement this movie makes. And I'm afraid not many Malaysians will totally be into the idea. The Kids Are All Right depicts the conventional family in a very unorthodox setting of today's modern world. The film is riddled with current issues wrapped in a poignant, sweet comedy. And I for one appreciated it's content.
But even if you are liberal to the idea of homosexual relationship and families, The Kids Are All Right may still disappoint some viewers who may be yearning for a good laugh out loud comedy film. The comedy in the film is more implied and subtle than you would think and may be hard for some people to pick up.
The pacing was also a little draggy. The film could have shaved off a scene or two here and there, especially the ones with that chick from America's Next Top Model, but those are small complaints. The ending did leave much to be desired. I felt that the story developed too well to have an abrupt ending like that, mostly dealing with Mark Ruffalo's character. But other than those, I am in love with this film because the performances and writing is just that good.
So The Kids Are All Right rounds out the 10 Best Picture nominees at the Oscars and I'll say that it's the weakest out of the lot. It's the competitions dark horse and will most certainly leave empty handed. But hey, still a pretty darn good film.