When Michael Moore announced to the audience at the State Theatre last night that we were about to see the Midwest premier of The Kids Are All Right I couldn’t help exhaling a surprised chuckle. I was in California a couple of weeks ago, and posters for the movie were so ubiquitous you’d have thought it was Avatar. What a tremendous statement Michael Moore made to have this movie kickoff the 2010 Traverse City Film Festival. Yes, Traverse City is ready to see a movie about a lesbian couple raising a family. And yes, we were ready to laugh and get just a tad teary over this movie that is as much about what it means to build a strong family as it is about sexual orientation.
Annette Bening and Julianne Moore give fabulous understated and believable performances that hit a score of middle age emotional buttons. I won’t give away the last line, delivered by their son, 15-year-old Laser, played by Josh Hutcherson. But trust me, any middle aged parent, gay or straight, is going to take it right in that soft paunchy place between his or her heart and bikini line and then let out a really big belly laugh.