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Preview review: 'The Kids Are All Right'

April 12, 2010 |  6:23 pm

6a00d8341c630a53ef01287721d7ca970c-500wi Coming off a much-buzzed about Sundance run earlier this year, Lisa Cholodenko's quirky family dramedy "The Kids Are All Right" seems to have a lot of hype to live up to.

Last week in his Word of Mouth column, our colleague John Horn said the film "is a favorite to become the summer's standout specialized release."

So it was with charged trepidation that we watched the newly released trailer for the film, out in July, about a lesbian couple (played by Julianne Moore and Annette Bening) whose two teenage kids (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson) decide to track down their sperm-donor dad (Mark Ruffalo).

We like the easy tone the trailer sets, much of which is due to the bouncy music used, like Madness' "Our House" and Vampire Weekend's "Cousin." The trailer seems to be marketed toward audiences that embraced "Little Miss Sunshine" and are looking for a smart take on the ever-changing modern family -- albeit one that seems to live in a bourgeois Nancy Meyers-esque home.

And the casting of Ruffalo as a drifter sperm-donor dad Paul seems spot on here.

"Right on, cool. I uh ... I love lesbians," he says when learning of the news that he's fathered two children.

Ruffalo always comes to life in small parts in indie dramas, but he's at his best when he plays the aloof spacey guy. We also like what we're seeing from newcomer Wasikowska here, who seems right at home as the family's inquisitive, emotional teen. As we've seen in her past films "High Art" and "Laurel Canyon," Cholodenko certainly has a way of telling unexpectedly moving tales about modern relationships. As for the dynamic between Bening and Moore, we're hoping their relationship will prove to be more comical than overwrought. Regardless, there's more than enough here to pique our interest in the film.

-- Amy Kaufman

Photo: Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Hutcherson and Mia Wasikowska star in "The Kids Are All Right." Credit: Focus Features.


 
Comments () | Archives (3)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Hey, what's with the title? There's already a movie entitled "The Kids are Alright". Just because they change it from "alright" to "all right" doesn't make it alright. Or is that all right? Oh, I'm so confused. If only Pete Townshend would smash a guitar over my head and set me straight! BTW, wasn't there a Specials song called "It doesn't make it alright"? Or was that an SLF song that they covered? Oh, the confusion! Oh, the humanity!

Cholodenko is an excellent filmmaker. I really look forward to this one. I love how fresh and creative she is, as well as how she's not afraid to tackle contemporary storylines.

Susan Gabriel
author of Seeking Sara Summers
( a novel with a similar contemporary storyline)

what is the song at the very end. the very end.


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