Friday, July 30, 2010

The Kids Are All Right (Rhoades)

“The Kids Are All Right” Is More Than All Right

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

A friend at the Key West Literary Seminar gave me a collection of short stories by Shawn Vandor. Shawn, it turns out, is the product of artificial insemination, and is currently writing a book on the subject of being “parentless.”

However, those who don’t want to wait for his publication can go see a movie called “The Kids Are All Right.” A breakout hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, this indie comedy is currently exploring this same familial theme at the Tropic Cinema.

More than that, its executive producer is Key West resident (and rumored contender for 2010’s Fantasy Fest Queen) Anne O’Shea.

“The Kids Are All Right” tells about a nice lesbian couple (played by Annette Bening and Julianne Moore) who want children. So they both get pregnant using the same anonymous sperm donor.

Life is uncomplicated until the two kids (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson) decide they need to meet their biological father. After contacting the sperm bank to learn his identity, the teenagers set off on an odyssey of discovery.

Spoiler alert: Dear ol’ dad is none other than Mark Ruffalo. A family “reunion” that’s the crux of the story.
Director and co-writer Lisa Cholodenko says, “People really admired what Stuart [Blumberg] and I got on the page but there was a fear factor regarding how the film was going to make money, as the subject matter is tricky.” The trick was getting a great cast.

Annette Bening has been doing some fine independent films lately, the most recent being “Mother and Child.” With such cinematic credits as “The Grifters,” “Bugsy,” and “American Beauty,” these days she’s stretching her acting muscles.

Julianne Moore has veered from edgy roles (Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts”) to mainstream movies (“The Forgotten”) to intriguing indie films (“The Private Lives of Pippa Lee”). And served as a Revlon spokeswoman along the way.

You saw Mia Wasikowska as the grown-up Alice in Tim Burton’s recent retelling of “Alice in Wonderland.” And you may have spotted Josh Hutcherson in “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”

Mark Ruffalo is a steady performer, appearing in such fare as “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Zodiac,” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

Even so, the film took a long time getting off the ground. The project was started in 2004, but got postponed two years later when Cholodenko herself became pregnant by way of an anonymous sperm donor.
[from Solares Hill]

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