The Kids Are All Right

Lots of Fetchland readers already subscribe to services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, or even Marvel Unlimited.

… Which begs the question: When you have access to an almost limitless plethora of entertainment options, which ones should you pick?

“What’s Free Wednesday” is a weekly Fetchland feature spotlighting something great to read or watch available on one or more entertainment services. “Free” once you’ve paid for it, if you grok 🙂

The Kids Are All Right

Free on:

  • Netflix

Married lesbians Nic and Jules, played by Annette Bening and Julianne Moore respectively, each had a child using the same sperm donor years ago. The kids are now sixteen year old Laser and eighteen year old Joni – both curious about their biological father. This premise for The Kids Are All Right intrigues at the onset but the story only gets better after that and not just because said sperm donor happens to be the amazing Mark Ruffalo. He plays Paul, a bohemian restaurateur with a chill attitude and open heart. Bening’s Nic works as an OB/GYN and is the organizational neatnick of the family. Her wife, Jules, heretofore a housewife, now jumpstarts a landscaping business with the purchase of a beat up truck.

This big change for Jules, combined with her daughter Joni going away to college, soon makes for a potent elixir of insecurity and empty nest syndrome setting the couple off on an unpredictable path. And because it’s a Julianne Moore character, you know there will be nudity… and sex. While Jules spirals into uncharted territory, the kids, Joni and Laser, get to know their sperm donor daddy. At first they keep Paul from their parents, “the moms” but then a hilarious misunderstanding results in the moms finding out about Paul. From here forward The Kids Are All Right shifts with ease back and forth between funny and heartbreaking. The dialogue captures the way people actually talk with such accuracy you’ll forget this isn’t actually Julianne Moore and Annette Bening just hanging out in real life lesbian-style. Not only does the brilliant wordplay compel but the story brings to life the complexities and frailties of crazy contradictory real human behavior. This movie reminds you that as much as people totally don’t make sense… they also really do. The writing along with remarkable acting from the entire cast make the characters unforgettably real. They will undoubtedly remind you of people you know. The insightful characterizations and fresh take on what it means to make a family will capture your heart. There are no villains or heroes in this one, just perfectly cast A-list actors in top form playing characters so familiar they feel like family.

The Kids Are All Right was ahead of its time when it came out in 2010, already presuming a world of perfectly normal, long term, gay marriage. It was also just flat out one of the best comedies of that year, if not the best one, mainly because it’s so much more than funny. This story moves and enlightens you all while you’re laughing your ass off. And most of all you can’t help but care for these women and their beautifully imperfect pairing. The film inspires a wellspring of empathy for every character even while they clash with each other, maybe especially then.

Music also brings even more authentic emotion into the story with an exceptional soundtrack as well as a lovely rendition of Joni Mitchell sung acapella by a resplendent Annette Bening one fateful night with the whole lot of them gathered at the dinner table. That particular dinner just happens to be when the rubber meets the road for this family. The truth comes out and nothing will ever be the same but that doesn’t mean things won’t get better. One thing is for certain though, every character will change as a result and you’ll be pulling for each the whole way through.

–Katherine Recap