Preview review: 'The Kids Are All Right'
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.