THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT Review

Surprisingly, 'The Kids Are All Right' did not strike me the way I imagined it would. After all the hype surrounding the indie film this summer I was expecting something a bit, I don't know how to say it...better. Not that this was a bad film, I rather enjoyed Mark Ruffalo's performance here and Annette Bening would be the reason I suggest it to people. Her performance is the most demanding, the one the average person will misunderstand the most and the character you probably won't like for the majority of the film. This lady deserves some serious props for pulling all of these facets into a life that comes crashing down around her and is still level-headed enough to be understanding and realize the important things and events in life even as they happen during a time of crisis. What the story boils down to is a not so out of the ordinary family dynamics drama, the wrench that is thrown in is that the family contains two mothers, lesbians. They have each had a child with the same man's sperm, the kids come of age, are curious to meet their biological father and once they do you can imagine the events that ensue. Though I have never been a big fan of Julianne Moore's she is somewhat of the catalyst character here. Her character gets wrapped up in an affair with Ruffalo's sperm donor and though I don't like to simply give a plot summary, I feel this films main strength is its different family dynamic than most drama/comedies centered around the average American family and so I feel it necessary. What I did find interesting about the film was that despite it focusing on the three adult leads, the title gets it right and we, the audience, find ourselves more concerned with how these actions and choices these adults are making are going to affect these two, very sweet, but impressionistic kids. Straight off her blockbuster role in 'Alice in Wonderland' Mia Wasikowska gives a quiet yet telling performance. We seem to view this entire situation through her point of view and she does a fine job of allowing us to live through her character. Joash Hutcherson had matured well and it is nice to see him taking on more challenging roles as he grows older. We find his juvenile comments that simplify the situation appealing and we then realize what a simple story this actually is. And in that, I go back to my misunderstanding of why this received as much great buzz as it did. I liked it, sure, and it had both some very funny and touching moments, but I can't get past the fact that it wasn't as good as I hoped it to be, that for how unconventional this story was the film itself seemed rather conventional.