Is it here that I make the predictable joke about Annette Benning being nothing like Roger Daltry in this remake of The Kids Are Alright?
And yes I did spend most of this movie trying to work out why they decided to call its The Kids Are ALL Right...or is it The Kids are all RIGHT? Was it to show that the parents were all left? What message were they trying to give us about the kids? Don't expect an answer by the way, I still haven't managed to work out what the title has to do with the story or movie.
And to be honest not being able to work out what message is was a problem I had with the entire movie...
This is a quirky comedy about a lesbian couple having their lives rocked by their children searching out their sperm-donor father and them bringing him into their lives.
Annette Benning is up for a Best Actress in a Leading Role for the shrill, control-freak, academic obstetrician Nic. Mark Ruffalo is up for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for the free-spirited 'hunk' Paul who donated sperm through a sperm bank (hence none of the protagonists ever knowing each other) for both mothers to have a child each, Joni and Laser. The odd omission in Oscar nominations here is Julianne Moore....who's Jules is weirdly is WAY more of a main character than Annette Benning's Nic...she hasn't even received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. How can the woman who's the centre of the plot and gets tons more screentime than Annette Benning be totally shunned from the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories? I also think she totally outshines Benning. It's weird.
And then there's writing. The screenplay is up for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) against Mike Leigh's Another Year, Inception, The King's Speech and The Fighter. But I have NO IDEA what the writers were trying to tell us, what we were meant to think about the characters, why they end the movie the way they do - it's all so wooly and.....see I can't even find a word to describe it.
I have to admit I got mildly annoyed by the movie. I'm sure lots of other people are going to love it, indeed 94% of reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes said they liked it: "Worthwhile as both a well-acted dramedy and as a smart, warm statement on family values, The Kids Are All Right is remarkable". But then I'm the woman who cannot stand chick flicks - 'Love Actually' - hate it, 'Dirty Dancing' - cannot abide it....perhaps that's it.
I'm not totally convinced it is though - I think, if I think very hard about this, I want a movie that is considered to be one of the best of the year to actually say something or at least have a plot that goes somewhere. There's one fantastic moment from Annette Benning where she acts her socks off without uttering a word, a realisation dawns on her that destroys her world...............and then this whole wonderful moment is wasted by the movie going back to blandness and use the potential of the situation to DO SOMETHING. Possibly the message was 'marriage is hard work but worth it'.....possibly, I'm not sure. And possibly I might not like it because of the whole affluent tedious Californian self-centred navel-gazing isn't anything that I can identify with.... And the end of the movie just fizzles out in a strange bland way....just like this.........