Article Title:Film review: The Kids Are Alright
Author or Credit:Jacqui Stanford
Published on:8th January 2011 - 10:13 am
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Story ID:9756
Text:Annette Bening and Julliane Moore as Nic and Jules From turkey basters to the 'daddy blues', it sometimes seems like every single TV show or movie which has a lesbian storyline has to delve into the tribulations of two women having a baby. Which is why The Kids Are Alright is immediately so refreshing. It looks at the unexplored territory of what happens when the kids of lesbian mothers grow up. With a sharp script and watertight performances, the beauty of The Kids Are Alright is that it just gets on with telling the story. Yes - it's centred on a lesbian couple with kids. No – it's not a big deal. LA couple Nic and Jules are played by Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, Nic is the relatively serious breadwinner, while Jules is a little more alternative, a little flaky and currently a little lost. They've been together for a long time and have children who are 18 and 15. Smart college-bound Joni is played by Mia Wasikowska, while her younger sport-loving brother Laser is played by Josh Hutcherson. Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson as Joni and Laser We're thrust into a happy, hilarious and normal home life with Nic and Jules referred to as 'moms' by their kids, who are happy and loved but not altogether content. Laser decides he really wants to meet his donor dad, so he and his sister track him down. Enter the gorgeous organic gardener Paul, played by Mark Ruffalo, whose arrival turns everything on its head and causes the cracks in the seemingly settled family life to widen into gaping chasms. Mark Ruffalo as Paul The Kids Are Alright has created an incredible amount of buzz heading into awards season and if anyone in the film gets an Oscar for acting it should be the brilliant Bening, whose portrayal of a mother trying to keep hold of her family leaves an indelible mark. It's almost realistic, for Hollywood anyway. It's a warts and all look at lesbian couple who have been together for a long time and raised a family – and how hard it can be to stay in love. Its beauty is that it's understated. It's not about 'oh my gawd you're lesbians and you have children ..' but more like 'oh dear you're a lesbian couple who love each other and have a beautiful family, but nobody's perfect and things get messed up sometimes, in any relationship.' The intricacies of lesbian coupledom are nailed right down to the nicknames. I mean who hasn't found themselves calling their lady love something bizarre and pathetically cute like 'chicken' or 'pony?' (Please don't tell me I'm the only one!) It backs up what you and I know (Christian fundamentalists are screaming 'nooo!' as I type), that families come in all shapes, styles and sizes – and you know what, the kids are alright. Jacqui Stanford - 8th January 2011    
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