The limited-release comedy The Kids Are All Right has driven critics into paroxysms of praise. For instance, the normally low-key A.O. Scott enthused in the New York Times as follows: “superlative,” “outrageously funny,” “heartbreaking,” “canny,” “agile,” “thrilling,” “vertiginous,” “anarchic energy,” “novelistic sensitivity,” “close to perfect,” “precisely measured,” “honestly presented,” “great,” and “extraordinary.”
Is this low-budget comedy truly the second coming of Lawrence of Arabia? If not, why does Scott appear to be plundering adjectives willy-nilly from Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers’ well-thumbed thesaurus of newspaper ad-friendly verbiage?
Annette Bening and Julianne Moore star as middle-aged lesbians whose domestic routines are flummoxed when Bening’s 18-year-old daughter and Moore’s 15-year-old son, who are half-siblings, contact their anonymous sperm donor father, played by Mark Ruffalo.
This film by television director Lisa Cholodenko (The L Word) may have been partly inspired by two stories notorious on the Hollywood lesbian gossip circuit: the vastly publicized Ellen DeGeneres-Anne Heche affair of the late 1990s and the quieter rumors about the conception of the two children of Oscar-winner Jodie Foster. ...
Casting as lesbians the girly Bening and Moore, who have four marriages, six children, and seven Oscar nominations between them, continues an old Hollywood tradition going back to the first gay domestic drama, 1969’s Staircase, which featured ladykillers Richard Burton and Rex Harrison (eleven marriages total).
July 13, 2010
From my review in Taki's Magazine:
Read the whole thing at Taki's and comment upon it below.