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The Kids Are All Right (2010)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  30 July 2010 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 99,818 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 279 user | 310 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

Two children conceived by artificial insemination bring their father into their family life.

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 33 wins & 94 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Nic
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Tanya (as Yaya Dacosta)
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Jai
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Clay
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Luis
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Brooke (as Rebecca Lawrence)
Lisa Eisner ...
Stella
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Joel
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Waify Girl
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Clay's Dad (as James Macdonald)
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Storyline

Nic and Jules are in a long term, committed, loving but by no means perfect relationship. Nic, a physician, needs to wield what she believes is control, whereas Jules, under that control, is less self-assured. During their relationship, Jules has floundered in her "nine to five" life, sometimes trying to start a business - always unsuccessfully - or being the stay at home mom. She is currently trying to start a landscape design business. They have two teen-aged children, Joni and Laser, Nic who is Joni's biological mother, and Jules who is Laser's biological mother. Although not exact replicas, each offspring does more closely resemble his/her biological mother in temperament. Joni and Laser are also half-siblings, having the same unknown sperm donor father. Shortly after Joni's eighteenth birthday and shortly before she plans to leave the house and head off to college, Laser, only fifteen and underage to do so, pleads with her to try and contact their sperm donor father. Somewhat ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nic and Jules had the perfect family, until they met the man who made it all possible.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some teen drug and alcohol use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 July 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los niños están bien  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£411,960 (UK) (29 October 2010)

Gross:

£1,485,900 (UK) (19 November 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Annette Bening's favourite scene is when Jules and Nic are telling Paul how they first met, and watching Joni and Laser cringe at the erotic details. See more »

Goofs

Laser tells Paul that Joni got the National Merit Scholarship for science. However, National Merit Scholarships are not awarded in any specific categories - candidates are chosen because of high scores on the PSAT, which does not include a science section. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Laser: I don't think you guys should break up.
Nic: No? Why's that?
Laser: I think you're too old.
Nic: [wryly] Thanks, Laser.
[Jules grins and puts a hand on Nic's knee, and Nic covers the hand with her own]
See more »

Crazy Credits

For Wendy and Calder. See more »


Soundtracks

Black Country Rock
Written by David Bowie
Performed by David Bowie
Courtesy of RZO Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Domestic Life in THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
25 February 2011 | by See all my reviews

The nuclear family takes on a different spin when both parents are same sex and the kids are the product of a male sperm donor in The Kids Are All Right. When traumatic upheaval and revelations strike such a family, the results can be amusing and also tragic. Annette Bening and Julianne Moore highlight an insightful script about domesticity turned on its head.

Nic (Bening) and Jules (Moore) are lesbian parents of two teens, Joni and Laser. One day the children research and contact their biological father, Paul (Mark Ruffalo), who agrees to meet his progeny. After an awkward first meeting, things actually go well as the new family connections are explored by the kids and their newly found father. The couple of Nic and Jules are a contrast; Nic is the physician who is totally controlling while Jules is still trying to find herself with a new business of landscaping. Laser hangs with the wrong crowd and begins to realize that he deserves better through his bond with Paul. Joni is trying to assert herself as an adult and prepares to go to college. The moms show a parental responsibility to watch over their children and want to meet the dad. When Paul hires Jules to do work on his restaurant landscape, the two connect. As Paul's influence begins to overcome the family, Nic feels left out. But there is an attraction between Jules and Paul that leads to a torrid affair, and when Nic discovers the truth, the family is torn apart. Into this mix are two maturing children whose emotions will be tested throughout.

The roles are well acted especially by Benning as a betrayed spouse, and in particular, her scene of revelation about Jules is a marvel of expressiveness and devastating heartbreak. This culminates in a powerful moment with all the principals present at Paul's dinner table. Moore gives solid support and shines in her heartfelt plea to her family near the end. The ensemble is well cast particularly Ruffalo whose almost bystander role is suddenly elevated to catalyst and disruptor of the family's dynamic.

The story has a nice balance of serious tones and comedic elements born out of the situations. The themes work on several levels like ingredients of a zesty recipe: the family chemistry, the couple of Nic and Jules, the kids' developing bond with Paul, Paul and Jules, and shake and mix well. Everyone has needs and wants, and the strongest is a need to belong to a family and the need to connect with another human being whether it be Laser and his friends, Paul and Jules, Paul and his children, and Nic and Jules. Amid the conflicts, no one escapes unscathed. There are no real heroes or villains here, only hard truths about life and relationships.

The fact that two lesbians are having the conflict over infidelity may seem novel on the surface, but it could easily have been a heterosexual couple. In fact the notion of two lesbians virtually disappears as we witness and understand this family unit with its warts and all. It could be any family when you think about it. The fact that both Benning and Moore play their respective spousal roles so convincingly is a testament to their acting skills playing off an excellent script by Stuart Blumberg and Lisa Cholodenko, who also directs. The ending rings true and shows not only how far the relationships have come, but how that foundation, despite some serious challenges, is strong enough to survive. Life moves on, and there is hope for the future.

There are not a lot of loose ends in this story although, toward the end, it would be nice to get a bit more resolution to Ruffalo's character. The film does contains a couple of brief explicit sex scenes without which this would essentially be a PG rated film. There is little to quibble about, and the viewer gets to experience one of the more insightful domestic dramas in recent years.


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