Date night idea: 'The Kids Are All Right' [Family and parenting]

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Date Night:  “The Kids are All Right”

If your family is anything like mine, date night is a rare and precious gem. Not to be squandered on mediocrity, date night must be planned carefully and budgeted accordingly because let’s face it—after the babysitting fee, dinner, movie, and/or drinks, and much needed grooming expenses—we’re talking big bucks.

My husband and I recently embarked on an end-of-summer date night featuring the film, “The Kids are All Right” starring Julianne Moore and Annette Bening. The theater was packed, which I love for the feeling of solidarity and feigned connection to other humans besides my off-spring and virtual friends on date night, but the crowd was even more meaningful for this particular film. In equal measures the entire audience cried and laughed together—husbands and wives young and old,partners, young lovers, gay and straight alike. The film was a complete success loaded with poignant family drama, subtle humor, and effective acting (Bening is always brilliant, but Moore was a stand-out character).  Well-worth the babysitting debt.

The story is simple -- one of the children of long-time married lesbians wants to find his sperm-donor-dad. Things get complicated when the beautiful, loving, functional family welcomes in this charming, egocentric, dysfunctional component and all seem to be wooed in different manners. Although there is the lesbian twist, the story itself is as old as Shakespeare: family must mend after an interloper weasels his way into the delicate family web.   

I am a sucker for a good family film, and this is one of the better ones I’ve seen in awhile. With Proposition 8 ruling recently overturned in California and supporters and critics emoting loud and clear on each side of the debate, it’s nice to have a movie that does not preach, but simply celebrates family. Gender (and sexual orientation) was simply irrelevant. To the audience at Baxter last Friday and to my husband and I, laughing, crying and crunching popped corn together -- it was just a great film for a date night.        

Photo: Courtesy The Kids Are Alright

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