Last week, I got a special treat. I got to see The Kids Are All Right at a posh theater with some lovely Boston mom bloggers at Mom’s Movie Night Out. The complimentary event was hosted by the Showcase Cinema de Lux at Legacy Place in Dedham, MA, and offered wine tasting, Tarot card reading, hand massages, hors d’oeuvres and gift bags. Best of all (other than a night without my kids), we enjoyed Lux level seating. If you haven’t experienced it, you must. Wonderfully comfortable seats with plenty of space (sort of like sitting in your lounge chair at home) and the ability to order a full dinner, drinks or standard movie snacks at your seat with the push of a button. The Dedham Showcase Cinema de Lux hosts the event at various times of the year and has quite the waiting list. It’s not surprising as it was a really nice way to spend an evening!
I went into the movie not quite knowing what to expect. The Kids Are All Right stars Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson. It tells the story of Nic and Jules, a lesbian couple, and their fabulously normal and angsty family. As their daughter turns 18, she and her brother set out to meet their biological father, an anonymous sperm donor. From that point on, we start to see the holes in their perfect family, the difficulty of keeping a marriage together, and the joys and heartache parents experience as their children grow toward independence.
I don’t think I was quite prepared for this movie which was so raw and honest. Family is complicated. Family is love, humor, anger, frustration, patience, discomfort, joy, triumph, despair. And it all came out on the screen in moments that had the audience laughing, as well as moments that were almost too uncomfortable to watch. And when things go downhill, it can’t be resolved with an easy Hollywood ending. Instead, much like in real life, we’re left with a family that’s hurting, but still banded together.
The Kids Are All Right is like peering in your neighbor’s window and, without their knowledge, watching all of the ups and downs in their life. I thought it was a fantastic film and extremely well acted. My only complaint was that one of the characters manages to hurt her family with seemingly little hesitation or guilt. Given the bonds that were shown on screen, I thought that she might have been more conflicted.
This isn’t a movie for the ultra conservative among us, but if you want to see something real, while still being entertained, The Kids Are All Right is a good bet.