Friday, July 23, 2010
To recap the plot of the film, Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening) are a lesbian couple who each had a child by the same sperm donor, Paul (Mark Ruffalo). The kids, Laser (Josh Hutcherson) and Joni (Mia Wasikowska, Alice from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland) are now at an age where they’ve decided they want to find their donor father.
Co-writer and Director Lisa Cholodenko, decided to make it a lighthearted look into the non-traditional family. There’s a social commentary being made; however, entertainment value was obviously the director’s main objective. Which I don’t have a problem with at all; but those looking for a more creative, Indie feel, may feel it’s too studio. Those looking for a gay film may feel it’s not issue driven. On the other hand, those looking for a mainstream comedy with two hot (well, formerly hot) stars having sex scenes, may be disappointed. For me, I feel it straddles all of this with good balance.
I also like the casting of Tanya (Yaya Dacosta) as Paul’s hostess and “f” buddy, before he meets his kids, which has very little to do with the plot, but it would be nice if this model turned actress started getting work in more films, so just wanted to give her a shout out.
After the screening I got to chat with four intelligent movie-goers who also happened to be lesbians.
Two were a couple together 14 years, the other two, just friends. One of the friends thought the film was very enjoyable and agreed with most aspects of the plot and the relationship between Jules and Nic. She’s a proponent of adding a mainstream element to some gay films in order to get them made and out to the public.
The other friend felt there was way too much heterosexual sex taking place, and she didn’t like or identify with any of the characters. The couple, felt the characters were unlikable by design, to create a certain stereotype, not just the lesbians, but Ruffalo’s character as well.
Another point brought up in our after film discussion was about the dialogue interjecting too much “Oprah Speak”,they felt although lesbians do have a tendency to process everything to death, this film went a little overboard to illustrate the point.
My main problem with the film was that Paul was made to be the villain, yet he was no more guilty of tearing the family apart than Jules. Although perhaps I’m biased, after all, Mark Ruffalo is my second favorite Hollywood Crush after Robert Downey, Jr., so I can totally see why even a lesbian would have trouble staying out of his bed.