All I knew about going into The Kids Are All Right before watching it yesterday with the missus on her snow day was that Mark Ruffalo played the sperm donor for a pair of kids belonging to lesbians played by Annette Bening and Julianne Moore. It a movie I probably would have forgotten about, but the missus asked me to add it to our Netflix queue when it came out so I did. My initial thoughts proved to be pretty dead on, but after that the movie is about a lot of things. Let’s call the following SPOILERS if you want to go into the movie clean like I did. The kids meet up with Ruffalo and he starts interacting with them along with their moms. The girl is going off to college and the boy experiments with drugs and have an asshole friend. Bening doesn’t like Ruffalo coming into their lives because she kind of plays the daddy in her little family, being a control freak doctor. Moore’s more of a misguided free spirit moving from one business to another, currently working on a landscaping business that Ruffalo encourages her with by asking her to come do his house. Soon enough he’s doing her. After meandering around various details about their lives, the movie seems to settle on the infidelity and its aftermath as what it wants to focus on.
With such great performances from everyone in the cast, it’s sad that the film feels so unfocused and scattershot. The son goes from being potentially in trouble with his friend or life or something and winds up completely fading into the background, leaving a few dangling plot threads like what he wound up doing with his douchebag friend who wanted to pee on a stray dog’s head. There’s also a lot left unanswered with the girl too, like her crush on her friend. I can understand that the filmmakers were possibly trying to mirror real life and it’s lack of solid endings like we’re used to with movies and TV, but I feel like the daughter going off to college and the son telling the moms they should stick together because they’re old, just doesn’t do it for me. Too much is left unsaid and unfinished for my personal tastes, which is a shame because these actors and their excellent onscreen work deserve a better finished product.