Thursday, August 12, 2010

Movie: The Kids Are All Right

We The Kids Are All Right last night at the Michigan Theater. The basic premise is that a remarkably mainstream lesbian couple in California and their two kids have their familial equilibrium upset when the kids decide to track down the sperm donor who is their biological father.

The NYT review is pretty much right on with what follows, though A.O. Scott gives the movie more bonus points for being original than I think it deserves. The formula of the outsider disrupting an equilibrium that is ripe for disruption is an old one indeed; the only new bit here is making that outsider a sperm donor.

Another bit that stood out to me was the writing. It succeeds on many dimensions, but the casual use of self-help terms and concepts in casual conversation, noted in the review and very familiar to anyone in Ann Arbor, is right on, and very much captures the cultural atmosphere the family inhabits.

Finally, and this is a comment on the review rather than the movie, the son's friend Clay is not a "bullying goofball". He's just an amoral thug, so much so that the son's attachment to him given his sensitive nature is maybe the only thing in the movie that does not quite ring true.

Highly recommended.

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