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.
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