It’s hard to find a movie that truthfully resonates with reality in the theatres these days, as most Hollywood films feature storylines that are, apart from entertaining, not much else. However, The Kids Are All Right tells a funny and refreshing story which centres around the struggles faced as a family grows and the unconventional and often complicated relationships that they are comprised of.
Nic and Jules (played by Annette Bening and Julianne Moore) are a couple going through a transition period in their lives with their two children, Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson). With their teenage kids both going through big changes—Joni is getting ready for College and Laser is being poorly influenced by, I kid you not, a guy who finds it funny to pee on dogs—mixed in with relationship problems of their own, there is no shortage for drama and of course, comedy.
The starting point of the story is also what ultimately sets off the destruction of the family and takes place when Laser expresses an interest in meeting Paul (played by Mark Ruffalo), who made his and his sister’s lives possible by donating sperm. Soon after Paul is introduced, he becomes an integral part of the family. His actions help Joni and Laser grow up and make Nic and Jules truly realize the pains of their own relationship, creating the changes necessary for the family to understand their problems and redefine themselves.
Between Nic and Jules watching porn together, lots of sex, Paul’s organic co-op farm and his local restaurant, and Nic’s obsession with wine, there is no shortage to the funny situations that make this film hilarious.
Director and co-writer Lisa Cholodenko has made an entertaining film that also acts as a sincere reflection of the modern family and the growing pains that are inherent within them. One of the great accomplishments for this movie is found in the script; it’s filled with dialogue so honest and so well written that even a simple swear word carries enormous meaning that would take an entire conversation to portray in any other film.
Now, it should be said that among all of the great qualities of The Kids Are All Right, there are some problems with the structure that leaves a few questions unanswered, but overall the movie is both a comedic and touching take on the family-oriented theme, and all of the positives definitely outweigh the film’s downfalls.