Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Movie Review: "The Kids Are All Right" (but you might not be after you see this movie!)

I just returned from watching The Kids Are All Right. I read the reviews. I thought I was going to a critically acclaimed film about a lesbian couple coping with the sudden appearance of their kids' sperm-donor dad.
And it was that. It was also a movie about betrayal.
Which I didn't expect at all.
I survived. I didn't storm out, in part because the betrayal was treated so...accurately. It wasn't romanticized. Or simplified. Either the writer has experienced a trust violation (such a clinical term for something so fist-in-the-gut dirty) first-hand or has channeled someone who did.
The look on the betrayed character's face when she first realizes that her partner has cheated was excruciating to watch. Her confusion as her mind wrestled with what she now knew intellectually vs. what she thought she knew emotionally. Her mental removal from the scene as she watched herself and everyone else, knowing somehow that life as she moved forward would forever be divided into "before" and "after".
And though she confronted her partner with evidence...and received the expected refutation, she knew. Just like so many of us knew, regardless of the denials, the blame-shifting. And the appeal to, "please don't make me feel any crazier than I already feel" speaks for all of us.
The newly betrayed might want to give this film a pass, at least until time has worked its magic.
And even those, like me, whose wound is slowly fading to a scar, would do well to think long and hard about whether they want to vicariously watch their own drama.
Consider yourself warned.

4 comments:

  1. i just want to say thank you for this blog. it really resonates with me and has been helping me get through the past week since i found out about the betrayal. you're now in my google reader, but i find myself reading the archives over and over.

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  2. Welcome. I'll trot out my standard welcome mat -- that I'm so, so sorry that you need a blog like this...but very, very glad that you found us.
    I found the loneliness devastating. Couldn't talk to very many people and felt like I had to fake my way through my days.
    I'm sure you're reeling from the news. And it sounds as if your husband is still thick in the fog of presenting the OW as somehow a good person
    While he figures out if he ever loved you in the first place, you might want to suggest he figure it out from the guest bedroom...or the couch...or a hotel.
    I know the fear is that he will run straight into the arms of the OW but I tend to think it's more likely to kick him off the fence and make him wake up FAST. Cheaters become almost delusional in the stories they tell themselves and the drama they create...a dose of reality can be what everyone needs.
    Hang in there. I hope you have support in real life (not just online) -- someone to hold your hand while you cry and rage. A good friend? A mom? A sister?

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  3. I know this is a bit of necromancy, but I too was taken aback by this movie. I not expecting the betrayal at all. As if that weren't enough, the cheating character shared physical characteristics and the same names as the OW.

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  4. Yikes. A little too close to home, for sure.

    Elle

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