I don’t believe there’s any controlling force in the Universe. I don’t see the hand of an all-seeing God in unlikely coincidences or in biological design or in the various outcomes of my choices or actions (“It’s a miracle” – um, no, it’s just luck.) I believe life is pretty random, that bad things happen to good people because they just do, and that we’re on our own out here, doing the best we can, with the tools we’re given. I seriously doubt the creators of The Kids Are Alright had such lofty philosophical concepts in mind when they undertook their much-acclaimed family movie, but that’s kind of what it all boils down to: we have to live with our choices, especially the wrong ones.
Annette Bening and Julianne Moore play a gay couple with a pair of kids fathered by a sperm donor. On reaching eighteen, the kids reach out to their biological dad, with several unexpected and certainly unintended consequences. So it’s a part drama, part comedy, part soap opera. It actually feels like a sneak peak into someone’s home movie – personal, painful, intimate. I didn’t like the absolute dismissal of the hapless Dad when his usefulness is exhausted, and I didn’t enjoy the relentless attempt to prove the ordinariness of gay lives. But it really is a cracking film, expertly acted with a tight, witty script and understated but photogenic LA light.