The Kids Are All Right
I really was looking forward to this movie b/c I kept hearing great things about it, especially the performances. While I thought the performances were really good, Annette Bening was really fabulous in this- I've really not seen any of her other movies besides American Beauty but I didn't like her much in that, while I absolutely loved her in this. Julianne Moore was also great- Bening and Moore play a lesbian couple, Nic (rule and order oriented) and Jules (flightier), respectively, parents to two teenagers. When their children, Joni and Laser, contact their sperm donor Paul, everyone becomes a bit enchanted with him (Nic less so than everyone else though).
I was disappointed that in the first half of the movie, Paul is really put front and center, perhaps b/c most of the characters are enamored with him. It reminded me of why Knocked Up didn't really sit well with me b/c somehow the women can't ever "win;" sure they have a right to be mad at their significant others for being irresponsible, but don't the guys just seem funnier and don't they seem to have more fun? It reminds me of how with TAs, for example, if you're a male TA and you're not a very strict grader, then you're considered "laid back" and that is totally cool, whereas if you're a female TA, it's hard to be anything but nit picky or a pushover (when you're less strict.) And I seriously am not much of a feminist by any means.
The Kids Are All Right didn't quite go as far as that but it made me really uneasy when Jules, thankful for just being around someone who really appreciates her, starts an affair with Paul. Later scenes in the movie made me feel for Jules's situation a bit more (For example a scene at the restaurant bar when she asks Nic if she sees her, if she's still attracted to her is heart breaking. And I do understand where Jules is coming from- her spouse, Nic, is a successful doctor, while she's mostly been at home raising the kids or doing odd jobs), but still, it doesn't really make sense to have a LESBIAN character suddenly go straight for a guy. And in that sense, the movie disappoints me b/c I was expecting a movie about lesbian parents to be more progressive. The movie becomes much stronger when it brings the focus back on the family.