The Kids Are All Right movie review: Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson) have a good home with their moms Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore), but they can’t help wonder about the man whose donated sperm gave them life. When they finally reach out to Paul (Mark Ruffalo), he bonds with the kids and has an eye for Jules, but Nic fears having her family dynamic unsettled.
The buzz: The latest from director/co-writer Lisa Cholodenko (“Laurel Canyon,” “High Art”) already has won Best Feature at the Berlin International Film Festival, and my colleague Michael Phillips has suggested it could be the American film of the year. Will this family drama live up to the buzz?
The verdict: The terrific performances suggest more depth than is actually given to the characters. They’re shaded with only a couple things to worry about, and the plot, which is more conventional and less insightful than it could be, too often drives them instead of the other way around. I also could do without the singing at the dinner table and a forced scene of accidentally turning the volume way up mid-porn watching. The film is, however, honest about sexuality and avoids a lot of traps: No one gets slapped and nobody dies, thankfully. “The Kids Are All Right” is a warm, funny story about a family struggling and persevering, yet I felt about it the way the kids feel about Paul. I liked it OK, wasn’t really on board with a lot of what it was doing and couldn’t help but feel disappointed not to love it more. Source: Metromix
Box Office: Opening in limited release at seven theaters, The Kids Are All Right grossed $491,971 in its first weekend. At $70,282 per theater, the film scored the highest average gross in the year to date. It expanded to 38 theaters on July 16, then 201 on July 23 and finally 847 on July 30. As of September 12, 2010 the film had grossed a total of $20,242,000.