Filmgoers can’t go wrong with The Kids Are All Right, the opening night film at the Traverse City Film Festival 2010, in Traverse City, and my first pick of the festival. Funny, smart, and truthful, it’s a surefire crowd pleaser with an indie dream cast—Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, and rising stars Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) and Josh Hutcherson (Journey to the Center of the Earth).
In June, I caught this award-winning romantic/family/alternative comedy at a Writers Guild screening at Loews Lincoln Square in New York City. Afterward, the film’s writer/director Lisa Cholodenko, and co-writer, Stuart Blumberg, did a Q&A and explained how they came to collaborate on The Kids Are All Right. Seems Cholodenko, (High Times, Laurel Canyon) ran into her old friend Blumberg (The Girl Next Door, Keeping the Faith) out in LA. While catching up, Cholodenko mentioned she was working on a script about a long-term Lesbian couple that uses an anonymous sperm donor to conceive their children. Coincidentally, as a young man Blumberg had been an anonymous sperm donor. Coincidentally, Cholodenko was in a long term same sex relationship, planning on having a child by a sperm donor. Well, as they say, write what you know. Cut to many drafts and several years later, and you have this hilarious breakout comedy based on the two friends’ already Oscar buzz-worthy script.
True, Nic (Bening) and Jules (Moore) might have a different domestic dynamic from yours. But the “Moms,” as their children call them, make one helluva universal couple—the perfect pair taking on family life with humor, heartache and a couple of Joni Mitchell songs. Sing along with them now, as the not-so-anonymous sperm donor, (Ruffalo), appears on the scene, definitely making his presence known.