On Sunday night, my gal pal and I joined a sold-out crowd of moviegoers to see the much-anticipated The Kids Are Alright at the tiny Ptown Theater. The A/C was a bonus.
The crowd at the early show was mostly Well of Loneliness era women in pairs and posses. Quite frankly, I was looking forward to seeing Annette Benning (love her) and Julianne Moore getting it on. A lot. My biggest worry before the movie was that one of the lesbians goes straight. That should have been the least of my worries.
The film is wonderfully acted and expertly shot but for me that didn't make up for the story line that seemed more conventional because I was sitting next to the unconventional John Waters. He thought it was a decent sitcom. My other seatmate started fidgeting, then harrumphing and finally yelling on the bike ride home, "For this we waited in line? And for thirty years? I'm a lesbian and I hated that movie." A woman on the street stopped her and said she hated it too and sent her here.
Since I have friends who are filmmakers, writers and directors, and know what they have to go through to get anything made and distributed, I am not an immediate critic of the movie I've just seen. I appreciate that it even exists for a few hours and then I get critical.
So I'm glad that Lisa Cholodenko got her film made. But the film got made because it did not rock anyone's world or challenge any racial or gender stereotypes. The only good sex with skin was straight. Long-term same-sex coupling and parenting was shown to be just like same-old-sex coupling and parenting. The lesbians were, of course, virtually sexless. Mothering is smothering, even absent fathers do it better. Despite a CA-CODA-speak script, everyone was on an AlAnon slip. Women, even lesbians, fall for guys just because. Because they watch gay male porn? Try The L-Word. The portrayal of people of color was annoying. The kids would really be alright if they went to a COLAGE meeting, Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere.
If TKAA pissed you off, I recommend Angelina Jolie in Salt. Pretend she's a lesbian.