Mark Ruffalo is one of those guys who's in every movie but you couldn't name a single one of his characters. He's like Peter Sarsgaard in that way, but much more likable than Sarsgaard. Well, this is Ruffalo's best role to date. As a big bad bike riding, leather wearing, organic food restauranteur, Ruffalo is incredibly charming, can make denim on denim actually work, and has the sort of macho and sensitive appeal women swoon over. Julianne Moore's character cheats on her wife with Ruffalo's Paul and from the perspective of an audience member, it's totally understandable. He's just that damn likeable and irresistible.
The Kids Are All Right is an actor/actresses' movie and while the dialogue isn't exactly blow your mind stellar, and the characters are drawn a bit broadly, the general appeal of the cast makes it worthwhile -- and Ruffalo pushes it from a high B to a low A. The movie has been marketed as a lesbian-marriage comedy, and that has brought its share of fans and detractors. Some differing viewpoints from Racialicious, Slate, and Jezebel. And an interview with director Lisa Cholodenko.
I declare Mia Wasikowska, who was Alice of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, as the new Claire Danes. There's a very slight facial resemblance but it's more Wasikowska's energy, her expressions, and her presence on-screen that is so eerily similar to Danes'. My friend turned to me immediately after The Kids Are All Right and commented on the resemblance before I could get it out. Someone needs to give her an amazing part asap. I might have to write it for her if I can ever get my act together. Mia, have your people call my people!