Earlier today I was reading about North Carolina, the latest state to vote on a constitutional amendment concerning the definition of marriage. Some people regard the issue of marriage equality as a complex one, while others see it in a more simplistic way. And neither approach guarantees a positive response. These are the thoughts that were going through my mind today during my visit to Film Annex, so I thought I'd look at some films about marriage. Instead, I found this interview with Manny the Movie Guy and Mark Ruffalo about a feature film called "The Kids Are All Right."
This film is about the everyday events that shape the lives of a lesbian couple, their two teenage children, and the man who fathered the kids via sperm donation. There's a lot of potential for complexity and histrionics, but it plays very much like any other family drama. The familial structure is a bit unique, the plot challenges for the characters are therefore likewise unique, but the way situations are handled seems to be very universal. People disagree, they make mistakes, they talk, they cry, they reconcile, and most importantly, they love one another. Just like any other family.
Besides being a huge fan of Mark Ruffalo, I liked hearing him speak his mind about love and family. It might be easy to dismiss a film like "The Kids Are All Right", but in the end, stories like this serve a true purpose in painting at least a somewhat realistic portrayal of life inside a family dynamic that might be different from one's own.
"The Kids Are All Right" stars Annette Bening, Julianne More, Josh Hutcherson, Mia Wasikowska, and Ruffalo. It made its debut in 2010 at the Sundance Film Festival, and was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture. It's currently available on DVD and Blu-ray, and On Demand. You can find out more about the film at http://focusfeatures.com/the_kids_are_all_right.
By the way, it's worth mentioning that this is a Focus Features movie--the same company that gave us Terrence Malik's "Tree of Life", "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy", and the upcoming "Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World". This studio is quickly becoming one of my favorites, and I know I can rely on them to tell interesting stories in a beautiful and thoughtful way.