“The KIDS ARE ALRIGHT” (Pete Townshend, Keith Moon, Roger Daltrey & John Entwistle)
This ‘controversial’ film gets off to a very bland start – the lesbian couple & their two children (both mothers gave birth to one using the same sperm donor specimens) are having dinner & the conversation is quite mundane. I found myself thinking, why would anyone want to watch this boring family chit chatting about nothing? Just because the moms are lesbian lovers that automatically makes them interesting?
The family consists of ‘Nic’ (Annette Bening) the pants wearing bread winner of the family (she’s a doctor) co-mom, Jules (Julianne Moore, playing herself*) 18 year old daughter Joni (Alice in Wonderland) & 15 year old son Laser (Josh Hutcherson) (* just a joke, Jules)
We are then subjected to having to view the lesbian couple having sex while they watch gay porn - & by gay I mean, male dudes having sex with one another – these chicks are making out while watching gay men do the same. My reaction was the same as Laser’s when he discovers this fact – WTF?
3 times in the opening 15 minutes someone utters the phrase, “right on.”
& no, this is not set in the late sixties, so why the time warped phrase is repeated I have no idea other than a burned out hippy wrote the script & is hoping the dumb phrase will catch on again – Please, people, let’s make sure this doesn’t happen!
The idea here is that they’re trying to make lesbians appear to be normal & ordinary & in doing so they are boring (just like you & me) I don’t know about you, but in my daily life I’m somewhat boring & ordinary - & I wouldn’t expect anyone to make a movie by filming me having dinner with my family or watching gay porn... uh-oh, did I write that out loud? Forget I ever wrote that, okay?
Then something unusual happened, something that’s never happened before in the history of cinema – Mark Ruffalo shows up & saves the day! If you’ve read my past reviews of Ruffalo appearances you know that he may just be my least favorite actor (Only in ‘Collateral’ did he appear to be someone other than Mark Ruffalo playing a character) & the funny thing is, he isn’t all that far removed from his ‘usual’ character but the best way I can describe it is that he doesn’t seem to be as bored with his character as he normally is. It is true that his character, Paul, the sperm donor responsible for Joni & Laser coming to life, is a huge shot of adrenalin into an otherwise lifeless film which deserves a lot of the credit for what I would call Ruffalo’s best role ever.
Joni contacts the sperm donor when she turns 18 & she & her brother meet with his secretly. When the mothers find out about it, they want to meet him as well & Paul instantly becomes a part of their lives, much too elderly lesbian Nic’s dismay.
Which brings up another complaint – Nic is a bleeping drag. If you weren’t hoping that Paul would run her off & step in & take care of Jules & the kids, you must be... well, like Nic.
Nothing that happens in this story is Paul’s fault – he’s the good guy & relatively innocent in what happens between him & the various family members, yet the far-from-perfect lesbian couple & their desperately in need of a real father figure kids blame him for the problems that ensue after his arrival (at the kids’ behest, remember)
So the only morale I could come up with is – we should no longer allow lesbians to use ‘our’ sperm to grow their own kids... Sorry, lesbians, but your friends Nic & Jules were pathetic parents & yet, this story would have you believe they were SuperMoms...
Sounds like I’m going to give this film a thumbs down, but no – Ruffalo’s performance is worth seeing & this film WILL spark lively conversations among all those who go to see it, so gather as many people that you can & go see “The Kids Are Alright” - it is one of the best documentaries of one of the world’s best rock bands ever made...