Fuel for flaming youth
‘The Kids Are Alright’, 2010, cert. 15, dir. Lisa Cholodenko, 4/5 stars


Julianne Moore and Annette Bening both play two middle aged women named Jules and Nic, a lesbian married couple living in suburban America, each of whom had a baby through artificial insemination. One is now an 18 year old girl named Joni, played by Mia Wasikowska, who is spending her last summer at home before leaving for college. She has a 15 year old brother, Laser, played by Josh Hutcherson. Laser asks Joni, who is of age, to call the sperm donor centre and find out who their biological father is. They meet up secretly with a man named Paul played by Mark Ruffalo, a laid back organic food producer and restaurant owner, who affects the lives of the various family members in different ways.

I enjoyed this film a lot more than I thought I would. Yes it is set in cosy settings but it never gets over sentimental and it has the balance of humour and emotion just right, unlike most America films of the genre. Its portrayal of a same sex marriage is original and relevant. The acting is flawless and the characters are all human and believable, with their various appealing traits, never coming across as designated heroes and villains. The film narrates the highs and lows of various life experiences associated with friends, relationships and family that I’m sure everyone can relate to. This is in the same league as Little Miss Sunshine and I dare you to find a warmer, more enjoyable comedy drama.