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The Kids Are All Right





I don't know what's more delightful -- that The Kids Are All Right stars Bening, Moore, and Ruffalo at the top of their games in an irresistible story of lesbian marriage, sperm-donor fatherhood, sex, red wine, and teen angst. Or that this warm, funny, sexy, smart movie erases the boundaries between specialized ''gay content'' and universal ''family content'' with such sneaky authority. So let's say both, and give high fives (or whatever they give in Southern California) to director Lisa Cholodenko (High Art, Laurel Canyon) and her co-writer, Stuart Blumberg, for using the components of a commercial dramedy to cross boundaries with such indie élan. (Perhaps there's no substitute for experience; Cholodenko and her partner are mothers of a young son.)

By Lisa Schwarzbaum, from Entertainment Weekly

Which is fine: Ms. Cholodenko's film, which she wrote with Stuart Blumberg, is so canny in its insights and so agile in its negotiation of complex emotions that it deserves to stand on its own. It is outrageously funny without ever exaggerating for comic effect, and heartbreaking with only minimal melodramatic embellishment.

But its originality -- the thrilling, vertiginous sense of never having seen anything quite like it before -- also arises from the particular circumstances of the family at its heart. There is undeniable novelty to a movie about a lesbian couple whose two teenage children were conceived with the help of an anonymous sperm donor. Families like this are hardly uncommon in the real world, but Ms. Cholodenko (Laurel Canyon, High Art) and Mr. Blumberg have discovered in this very modern arrangement a way of refreshing the ancient and durable wellsprings of comedy.

By A. O. SCOTT, from The New York Times

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