The Kids are All Right is exactly what you would expect from Lisa Cholodenko (I was a fan of Laurel Canyon). A slice of life film with excellent acting, tight directing and a sharp script. There’s nothing at all wrong with that. There are people out there who may call it a pointless film, as I’ve heard with Laurel Canyon. But it is enjoyable and well worth two hours of your life. But don’t expect to be challenged in any way or to be surprised with anything that happens.
The real prize here is Mark Ruffalo. He shows a care-free dude-like attitude, but where most actors could have played this without a soul – Ruffalo gives him many layers (credit to the script and direction as well). Coming from a female writer/director, you might expect this character to be a one-note flake from start to finish, but he is complex and you find yourself rooting for him (at least I did).
Annette Bening and Julianne Moore are exceptional as a lesbian couple with the same problems any married couple would face. I don’t know how you could pick one over the other for any award consideration… it’s sort of a toss-up with who’s better. I liked Moore’s character more, but I could see how Bening would be embraced by critics more. She’s got a real sharp edge.
The one actor who seemed out of his league here is Josh Hutcherson, who plays the son Laser. He may be a capable actor, but surrounded by so much talent he stood out.
A special mention to Yaya DaCosta, who started her career off as a model, but played a hostess and lover of Ruffalo’s Paul in the film. Most of the time the ability doesn’t match looks, but she’s pretty good. And she’s got a unique look too.