With the addition of a terrific cast headed by Julianne Moore, Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo, Cholodenko has fashioned a smart comic drama that qualifies as one of the most enjoyable films of the year. Moore and Bening play a lesbian couple who’ve been together for over twenty years and have two teenage kids they conceived with the help of the same anonymous sperm donor. Complications arise when the kids decide to contact their biological father (Ruffalo), which worries the controlling Bening. All the tensions, awkwardness and frustrations of this semi-farcical situation are beautifully captured by Cholodenko and her team, especially in two extended dinner party scenes. The Kids Are All Right is an extremely funny and mildly subversive take on alternative family values. There’s a certain tension between the broad humour and the film’s more serious concerns, but overall Cholodenko’s strategy of reaching out to a wider audience works very well, as reflected in the film’s considerable success at the American box-office.
Watch trailers for The Social Network and The Kids Are All Right. The Social Network runs at the IFI until Thursday November 11th, and The Kids Are All Right runs until Thursday November 18th.