If you haven’t seen the movie, The Kids are All Right, yet, it’s out on DVD and I think its definitely worth the two hours. I loved watching it knowing that I would blog about it afterward because its theme is related to my memoir.
Julianne Moore and Annette Bening play a married couple who chose to make two babies using an anonymous sperm donor 18 years ago. Now that the kids are old enough, they rifle through moms files, contact the sperm bank, and get in touch with their sperm donor, played by the super hot teddy bear, Mark Ruffalo.
The early part of the picture does a great job of exploring the awkward “Getting to know you” phase of their relationship. Benning’s character is an uptight OB/GYN and she interprets Ruffalo’s character’s successful organic gardener tied to chique restaurant as just another failure in the “food service industry”. She is worried that his single, spontaneous motorcycle-riding, college drop-out persona will be a bad influence on her 15-year old son and 18-year old daughter, played deftly by Josh Hutcherson and Mia Wasikowska.
The movie does a great job of showing the range of feelings that might occur when someone meets their not-so-anonymous donor. Benning and Moore play moms who feel very cautious at first, not wanting their teens to seek parental guidance outside of the family they built. The kids seem curious to know about their donor, even if they don’t know what to do with the information once they have it. Ruffalo’s character approached meeting his biological children the same way I did, with an open mind and heart in hopes that something great might come from it.
But of course, this is a Hollywood movie and no matter how authentically the writer and director, Lisa Cholodenko, tried to make it, there needs to be drama. The latter half of the movie centers around the sexual relationship that happens between Moore’s and Ruffalo’s characters and what happens when the rest of the family finds out about their secret trysts.
I’m so sorry to disappoint you, but my memoir will not include any sexual relationship between me and anyone besides my husband. But I do hope that doesn’t keep you from buying the book when it becomes available some day in the next two or three years (be forever optimisitc!).
Even though I didn’t expect a Ruffalo/Moore relationship in the early part of the film, there was some build up. I just didn’t think they’d go there. I suspect that some of my lesbian friends might both love and hate this movie.
They probably will love that the main couple are women who’ve been together in a loving, yet imperfect, relationship for over 20 years, intently focused and thoughtful parents in a relationship that is rarely portrayed on screen. But what they might hate is that the couple occasionally watch gay male porn during sex and that Moore’s character throws caution to the wind for some super-hot Ruffalo action. The sex scenes in this movie seemed so authentic, and the editing of them only made them better. This definitely is not a movie for anyone under 18.
The one other thing I noticed about this movie was that it seemed as if the director had the actors shoot a scene many times and then chose the imperfect scenes, where the actors made mistakes that real people make. It made if feel more like you were watching the out takes instead, which made the characters more real to the audience.
As far as I know, its the first time a movie has been focused around the issue of children conceived from donor sperm (or eggs) meeting their donor. I love that this has come out around the same time that I’m finishing my memoir. To me, this might be the start of a trend in the media or the world, that the anonymity of the donor process is coming to an end and that the subject will become a bigger part of mainstream consciousness.
Please tell me what you thought of the movie.
Oh, and BTW, I just passed 38,000 words today!