The Kids Are All Right: Lesbian Executive Realness in Fists

Alright kids (see how we did that!) — you can all stop your endless trolling of Jezebel, AfterElton, Salon, Out, The Advocate, etc. because the final word in angry gay movie reviews is here…

Julie & Brandy: In Your Box Office give THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
a very serious, non-frivolous TWO FISTS!!

We love this movie so much that we decided to skip the re-enactment and put on our monocles and thinking caps and take fingers to laptop a la Roger Ebert (post mouth surgery).

First things first: The Pink Elephant Cock in the room!

We won’t bother you with a spoiler alert because by now, you all must have heard that one of the lesbians in the movie sleeps with a man. In a nutsack (see how we did that!), Annette Benning and Julianne Moore play rich, cool lesbos living in L.A. who’ve been married for a million years, when one of their annoying precocious teenage kids contacts the sperm donor they used to make said kid. The sperm donor is played by Mark Ruffalo who looks pretty hot and is just about the ONLY man who could’ve played this part (besides Johnny Depp or Barack Obama) because he has the special ability to seem gentle and sexy even to lesbians.

Why would he need to seem gentle and sexy to lesbians, you ask?
Because Julianne Moore’s character ends up fucking him. Five thousand times.

Let’s not sugarcoat it: it was weird, it made us uncomfortable, it didn’t make sense, and it wasn’t realistic. However, seeing the lesbian Julianne Moore have sex with Mark Ruffalo was a lot less offensive then reading that Lisa Cholodenko said, “I was much more interested in reaching out to the male population than I was concerned about alienating a sector of the lesbian population.”+

(Dear Lisa,
While you were busy reaching out (pandering) to the male community, you didn’t just alienate a small section of the lesbian community — you actually disvalued women, in general, as a viable ecomonic marketplace. It’s a shame that the one voice in gay/female filmmaking being distributed on a large scale had to become a cog in the wheel rather than a conduit for change. Reading your quote made us feel almost as bad about being women as Sex and the City 2. Okay well that’s going a bit far.

That being said, we loved your movie and are dying to work with you. Call us! We wrote a lesbian romantic comedy and we want you to direct it.

Love Always,
Julie Goldman & Brandy Howard)


Despite the pink elephant cock in the room, we still loved this movie. We understand selling out and plan on doing it the first chance we get. Someone please! Just give us a chance!

You can go and read all the other reviews (if you want a real review), but it’s worth the risk of being redundant to say- this movie was genius. The writing was charming and poignant, the directing was thoughtful without being heavy-handed, and the acting.. wow. The fucking acting. They were all great, but Annette Benning was giving ACTOR’S STUDIO LESBIAN EXECUTIVE REALNESS. That bitch stole every scene. All she needed was her lesbian mom jeans and a glass of wine and she had us at hello.

Say what you will about Lisa Cholodenko, but she and co-writer Stuart Blumberg deserve some major Kudos (the good kind with the chocolate chips) for writing these incredible female characters. It’s literally the first time anyone has brought women to the silver screen in this way. Not since Marlene Deitrich wore a tuxedo and kissed another woman on the lips in the film, “Morocco” in 1930, has a film absolutely redefined the female protagonist archetype. For all the lesbians, and straight-lady “tops” out there — this one’s for you. YOU MUST SEE THIS MOVIE.

We aren’t saying that this movie is without flaws. They are there, but they are worth overlooking. Was it annoying seeing a lesbian have sex with a man? Fuck yeah. But not more annoying than having to say that this is THE BEST lesbian movie ever made (to date) — when we wrote the best lesbian movie ever written, but no one will make it.

What movie, you ask? Oh. Well, let us tell you…

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  1. Pingback: Mombian » Blog Archive » The Kids Are All Right: Marriage In the Bathroom Mirror

  2. Am I the only lesbian on the planet who totally hated this movie? I went tonight on the recommendation of Autostraddle and because my partner and I are starting to inseminate using a known donor next month. So, yeah, perhaps my personal life right now colors some of my perspective. But I’m sorry, to call this the “lesbian Brokeback Mountain” as I’ve seen on some sites is just totally demoralizing. I don’t count really painful-to-watch marriage-is-on-the-rocks sex as the equivalent of the totally hot Enis & Jack romp in cowboy tent.

    But aside from that, I thought the acting by Moore and Bennett was really horrible. Their relationship didn’t come across as believable (miserable relationships can still be believable). Also, who did the costumes for this? It seemed like the director’s only way to make Moore and Bennett believable as lesbians was by giving both of them a bunch of hippie jewelry to wear — including a hilarious dolphin ring that the character Nic wore on her middle finger or something. I mean — seriously? My partner and I have our share of a hippie side (and jewelry), but it really came across as a lazy way for the director to say, “hey, here’s some lesbians — they love patchouli, expensive Volvos, and Joni Mitchell!” (But, for some inexplicable reason, Nic hates composting…don’t ask why because NOTHING in this movie was explained with much depth.)

    And, yeah, the big penis in the room wasn’t just an aside, dear readers. It was basically the point of the movie. I feel like the ONLY character I got to know in the movie was the sperm donor, and Mark Rufolo did a pretty decent job of playing a middle-aged, too old to be too-cool-for-school douchebag (albeit a hot one).

    I really wish I would have gotten to know the kids’ characters more — I really didn’t seem to learn anything about how they actually felt about getting to know their sperm donor. Sure I was happy to see them in the end “defending” their family, but I have no idea how or why they got to that point.

    This movie really sucked. It made me feel demoralized. It pissed me off and it just made me want to go home with my wife, curl up in our not-miserable relationship, and love her in the best way I know how despite the heterosexim and homophobia that dominate all media representations of our lives.

    • thelesbiansaren’tallright….I TOTALLY agree. And puh-lease, the anti-composting comment was ridiculous, and did not match her “character.” It also made me wonder if that line had been taken from real life, but from someone very different. The only thing I could tolerate about the movie was the little “marriage is weally fucking hard” speech and Annette’s cute hair. And maybe her glasses.

      So, for lesbian parenting movies, what are we left with now? Best in Show? They had some dogs, right? :)

  3. Glad I found out the lesbian sleeps with a man before I saw the movie. Though I’m not a lesbian, I know a few things about film. That plot twist is f’ing stupid and unbelievable. Negates the whole thing. If I’m having problems with a male partner, I’m not going to jump in bed with a lesbian. That’s retarded. Why is it that lesbians portrayed in movies always sleep with men? WTF?

  4. Saw it today with my dad, who, btw, I’m not out to yet. *Fantastic* idea.

    My thoughts: I’m fine with the “sleeping with a man” thing. What did sort of bother me was that the sex between Annette Benning and Julianne Moore was sorta…frumpy. I mean, I get that their relationship is fizzling after years of marriage, but all the straight sex scenes were lusty and exciting, and the lesbian sex consisted of:

    1 – bored, meandering, under the covers, lights off, watching porn
    2 – foot rubbing in the tub that goes nowhere

    And again, I understand their sex life is floundering. But the appeal of a lesbian relationship — the fun parts — were totally missing from this movie. :(

    This hang-up aside…I thought it was pretty good. My dad, who’s a little conservative, empathized with all the characters, which made me smile. If all it accomplishes is a slight degree of humanization (instead of say, tokenism), I’m all for this movie reaching as many theaters as possible.

  5. HATED IT!!!!!

    I saw it with my partner in a cramped movie theater, and if we weren’t totally imprisoned in our seats at the end of a row, we would have left halfway through.

    I have soooo many reasons to hate this movie:

    -Is this really a depiction of a good lesbian partnership? Julianne Moore’s character is constantly the ‘good cop,’ dressing like a teenager, and acting like a general idiot. Notice how sexy Annette Bening sits at one head of the table, but the other head of the table is symbolically vacant? Barf!

    -The whole story of how they met, with the “I couldn’t feel my tongue, hee hee hee…” made me want to scream! We get it…lesbians use their tongues!!!! for sex!!! omigod!!!

    -I understand the whole Mark Ruffalo being sexy thing, and okay, fine, but what grossed me out was the reaction of everyone in the theater whenever he got busy with Good Cop. They were tittering, while we were scratching our heads and wondering why we were supposed to find it cute. Yeah, I said tittering…

    -And NO, those were SO not lesbian sex scenes! PLEASE, how many people seriously have sex underneath the covers? Was there some other scene I missed while I was rolling my eyes? I saw “The Girl Who Played With Fire” in the same theater, with the same crowd (older heteros), and even though there were some gasps, they could deal with a real sex scene.

    -ALSO….sorry, I know I’m on a rant, but this pissed me off, too: if I wanted to hear two women bickering for two hours, I wouldn’t pay for it! ON and ON!!! Was I the only lesbo who could predict every fight before it happened? Gag me!!!

    Okay, I’m going to click “Submit” and hope this comment helps save some unsuspecting lez the cost of a movie ticket…no offense to everyone who loved it. :)

  6. What’s with the gay porn scene! do lesbians really watch gay male porn while having sex under the covers? so unsexy! The man can give her satisfying sex (“Oh Hello!” as she opens his fly) which is every man’s fantasy – utter bullshit! How come we have naked hetero sex but lesbian sex only under the covers?

    • Yes, they do actually. I made a documentary about lesbian sex and asked the women what kind of porn they like. (this was a randomly pulled sample of about 30 women from weho and long beach of all ages and gender expressions). they all hated lesbian porn with zero exceptions, some preferred straight porn watching guys fuck girls turned them on, and about a third of them said they actually prefer gay male porn to any other kind. it is true, and when i saw this part in the movie i laughed out loud because i feel like cholodenko was giving the lesbians in the know a little secret wink while confusing everyone else. also, jules explanation for why they like gay man porn (calling it “counterintuitive” etc.) was almost verbatim to what i heard in my interviews.

    • “do lesbians really watch gay male porn”

      Sigh. What’s with all the boxes? I’m sure some lesbians like muppet porn as well.

      I hear some straight people like gay and shemale porn. zomgwtfbbq

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  8. I saw this movie and I can’t believe you girls gave it two fists. The fact that one of the “lesbians” has sex with a man isn’t actually what bothered me; it was the fact that her affair with that man was displayed so explicitly and repeatedly, whereas the single sexual encounter with her wife was completely PG and under the covers.

    On the plus side, I liked that the characters were nuanced and interesting. Also I was glad that one of the women was (at least somewhat) butch, because butch girls are hot and completely underrepresented. For those reasons I would give this movie two fingers.

  9. I know this is about 22 years too late but omg I saw this film recently and I was so appalled. I would say way but I think it’s all been said! I’m attracted to men but I thought the dude was a total minger (British slang for someone you wouldn’t want to go near with a 10th pole)

  10. Alright, so I have mixed feelings about this film (which I realize came out ages ago, but I only just saw it) and about the comments posted here (which were also posted ages ago, bear with me). I would like to analyze the idea we are exploring here of the “real” lesbian. Many of my friends who identify as “queer” but not 100% all the time lesbians sometimes express a feeling that their queer experience is devalued. I have a friend who often wails “I’m just not gay enough am I?” as if she has to prove to some unidentified or perhaps imaginary judgmental purist gay entity her gayness (as if 3 serious ex girlfriends is not legitimate proof that she has some gay in her). I would love it if we could all subscribe to the idea that sexuality is a spectrum with a sliding scale and that certain outside stimuli can tip the scale one direction or another.

    I really hope it is not the goal of lesbians on this comment board to make me (and my ilk) feel like illegitimate queers. I have been dating my lovely girlfriend for 2 years now (I know this may not seem like a significant portion of time to some, but it’s my longest and most serious relationship so far) but I am definitely attracted to men as well (and for the first year of our relationship, we agreed to the terms of an open relationship, so I was free to act on any roaming men I desired). I agree that the queer girl boinking the straight man and driving her life into the ground is a plot trope that has been WAY overused, but I would like to point out that it does happen, and that many women who identify as lesbians, if asked to place themselves on the scale, would not necessarily place themselves at the very most lesbian side of the scale.

    Am I making sense here? I know I am mostly just throwing anecdotes at you, but that is all I have right now. I guess I just felt like I could end up like Moore’s character, an average 85% queer lady married to a wonderful lady, having the same marriage issues as anyone, and straying to the 15% in search of something-anything!-different and new. I don’t like the idea that all of my gay friends will HATE ME and think I’m SELLING OUT and buying into a stale PLOT TROPE when really I never identified as 100% lesbian. I guess I feel like this is realistic because I can honestly imagine this happening to me! (or something similar). Does this make sense? Did I miss a scene in the movie where Moore’s character tells everyone she is 100% lesbian and that she wouldn’t have sex with a man if you paid her? I mean it’s definitely possible, I definitely missed the fizzled-marriage-lesbian sex (and I’m glad I missed it… if they’re really going to have a scene like that in the film they should end the film with a steamy re-energized-marriage lesbian sex scene to balance things out). But back to my main point: How do we know Moore’s character is not bi? How do we know she’s not 85-15? Or 75-25? How do we know her feelings don’t change from day to day (sometimes you wake up one day and feel a little more like 65-35). Am I (and my ilk, let’s not forget them) fated to be alienated and judged in straight, gay, and bi communities simply because I (we) do not want to put myself (ourselves) in a box (boxes)?

    This post is certified word-vomit and for that I apologize, but I guess I’m upset. Help? Thoughts?

  11. Pingback: Bunch Family » Blog Archive "Why Can’t I Just Sit Back and Enjoy It?" Lesbian Mom Reviews The Kids are All Right in Time For the Oscars » Bunch Family

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