Nic and Jules are in a long term, committed, loving but by no means perfect same-sex 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 (conceived by Nic) and Laser (by Jules). 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 reluctantly, she does. He is late ...Written by
The kids are better than all right, they're terrific. So are their lesbian moms, played with insight and skill by Annette Bening and Julianne Moore. Trouble is, the film that surrounds them turns out to be less than compelling stuff despite its topicality. The sperm donor responsible for the family at hand is played by Mark Ruffalo, and although a talented fellow, his character has enough foibles to keep him emotionally distant from the viewer. The story of his introduction to this modern family goes in a couple of directions, but all feel familiar and none satisfactory. Terrific premise, but unfulfilled promise.
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