Are The Kids (really) All Right?

In my quest to see all the nominees for Best Picture before the Oscars next Sunday, The Kids Are All Right was the one of the few I felt indifferent toward. Not anymore. The kids may be just fine, but the movie? not even close.

NOTE: Sorry, spoilers are kind of unavoidable in this one.

I was expecting so much more from this film in terms of story, but all I got was a confirmation that the only reason it made the Best Picture nominee list was its agenda. Sure the acting was top notch, but that’s what you get when you spend your whole budget on the stars instead of the story. And sure, points for addressing complicated family issues, but the plot didn’t seem to serve the premise. Or maybe just the editing didn’t. Can’t tell.

Ruffalo’s character is just terribly misguided throughout the whole film, from trying to offer new-found-independence advice to his 18 yr old daughter, to actually falling for Moore during a totally unbelievable affair. Bening and Moore’s characters, while complex, still feel typical. And the kids? Please tell me why your dad having an affair with your mom means that every moment he spent with you was fake. That one felt like a dig for conflict.

Perhaps I’m just ranting at this point, but I was sorely disappointed.

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