Sean Beaudoin

Enough excellent writing to fill a large tube sock

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Movie Review

The Kids are All Right dir. Lisa Cholodenko — 7.4

You have to give Lisa Cholodenko a lot of credit, as she consistently writes some of the smarter scripts and best dialog in American cinema. And this movie, despite its flaws, is no exception. Real characters, believable scenes, genuine emotion, convincing anger, and humor that comes from wry personal revelation instead of slapstick or juvenalia. The acting all around is at a very high level. Benning and Ruffalo in particular nail their roles. Somehow, though, the resolution of the film felt a little pat. The themes of the film (aging, domestic partnership, prickly relationships, economic roles in a marriage, raising kids, cheating) are all so well-established that a sort of tender "well we're just who we are," ending with close ups of holding hands feels a bit cheap. Or at least unsatisfying for such an astute movie. The best thing about it? Here's a movie that revolves around a lesbian relationship that essentially feels like a sharp romantic comedy that's about almost everything else. In other words, like in real life, it's real life that is the focus of all the characters, not same sex politics.

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