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Sploich's Movie Reviews (16)

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The Kids Are All Right 
Sploich Reviews The Kids Are All Right (2010)
0.5/4 stars

I'm pretty big on the Oscars. This is pretty obvious, I suppose. You have no idea how much time and effort I have put into the Oscars section of my website. When I hear about a movie that people believe is going to show up at the Oscars, I typically hunt it down and see it as soon as possible. This was the case back in July of 2010 when I heard that the film The Kids Are All Right was playing near me. Since I saw this film I think I have alienated a lot of my friends with my incessant complaining about how much I despised and loathed every inch of this movie, and now here I am to share the pain with my readers.

What we have is a family consisting of two mothers, a son and a daughter. The children have for some time been wondering who their donor father is and so one day when she is of age, the sister calls the facility to find out who their biological father is. They meet him and decide they want to know more about him, so the family takes him in as a new friend. As they begin to hang out more, he begins influencing their lives in ways that they never expected, and in ways that they could never have effected themselves.

Mark Ruffalo plays the donor character and is a very likable character. He becomes a positive influence on the kids, helping them grow and become better people. He also helps Julianne Moore's character, one of the moms, with her small business, allowing her to landscape his yard for him. He's not perfect though and he makes a mistake that ultimately causes him great loss. But here's the catch: This is the antagonist of the film. Yes, the most likable, most reasonable character in the film is the person we are supposed to like the least. There are little bits thrown in that are supposed to help us not like him though. For instance, they make a point in the film that he is a college dropout. He explains how college isn't for everyone and that he doesn't begrudge anybody for going to college, it just wasn't his thing. This is perfectly normal and I absolutely agree with this statement, but the filmmakers seem to want us to hate him for this. There are a lot of really confusing scenes in this film, but that is by far theā€¦third most bizarre thing that happens in this movie.

Annette Bening plays the other mom and is to me the exact opposite of Mark Ruffalo's character. She's an alcohol who constantly treats her children as if they were toddlers (to the point that no human being would actually act that way) and is always pushing away the person she loves. She is an entirely unlikable character with absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I hate spoilers, so I'll just say that by the end of this film you are supposed to like her and think of her as a protagonist, but I never had any reason to do so. There is even a scene in the film where it seriously looks as if she is going to turn into a serial killer and murder the lot of them. I'm not exaggerating on this point, I seriously thought that was a possible outcome of this film while watching it.

But let me settle down and tell you what does work about this film. Before the last fifteen minutes or so, the movie is really not bad. Again, there are some seriously questionable scenes and a lot of them come early on. The direction is all over the place and conversations take place that are really hard to comprehend. When it is not being so surreal, it's being pretty down to earth and real, and I like that. The acting all around is really great, even Annette Bening who was just working with what she was given I suppose. I can't really think of anything else I liked about it though. The soundtrack was absolutely atrocious with some of the worst songs I have ever heard in a film. The more minor characters are really uninteresting and one-note. Oh, and the son's name is Laser. Seriously, why is his name Laser? What kind of poor, pathetic people name their son Laser?

I definitely blame the writers Stuart Blumberg and Lisa Cholodenko (who also directed the film) for how much I hate this movie. It is absolutely unforgivable to be so completely backwards on which characters are supposed to be liked and which ones are not, especially when you completely change those characters right at the end of the film like this. I really, really hate this movie.

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