Friday, July 16, 2010

My Weekend Crush

I loved “The Kids Are All Right.” I really, really did – as you probably already realized. It touched me in ways that few movies have recently. I left the theater feeling so lucky, so great, so happy with the universe. I’ve mentioned that I cried like a baby, right? We’re talking Pixar tears, people. But I also laughed and cringed and fumed – the whole spectrum of human emotions. I started writing my review right away – taking notes on my phone as I headed to the parking lot. It came quickly, as all work that I feel truly passionate about does. I wanted to share this amazing movie, these brilliant performances with the world. I couldn’t wait. I was so excited. When you love something you want to share it, you want other people to love it like you love it. At the very least you want people to give it a chance.

So, imagine my surprise (though, I shouldn’t have been surprised – I blame love blindness), at the vitriolic response this movie has elicited, almost exclusively from those who have not seen the film. Now, I understand if you saw this movie and don’t like this movie. I don’t agree, but I understand and we can have a reasonable discussion about the whys and why nots. [Spoiler Alert: But, come on, you know.] And I understand if you are worried, wary, worked up by the idea of Julianne Moore’s character sleeping with Mark Ruffalo. I was, too – before I saw the movie.

Since my review has run I’ve been accused of being, in no particular order: a bad gay, an apologist for the ridiculous “lesbians-all-secretly-crave-dick” myth and – my favorite – paid by Lisa Cholodenko herself. Ha! If only! I am still, by the way, receiving angry emails. If you think I’m kidding, please witness one emailer’s decision to post our entire back-and-forth correspondence, without asking, on my review. Yeah. For real.

But this isn’t about the woe-is-me, but instead about the woe-is-this-film lament. This extraordinary movie could find itself in the strange position of being loved by everyone except the religious right and some lesbians, who both hate it on principle even though neither group – by and large – has seen the movie. Strange bedfellows, indeed.

I’ve already made my case for “The Kids Are All Right.” But don’t listen to me. Listen to the best critics in the country. This is the fifth best reviewed film in theaters right now. It has received glowing reviews from The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Entertainment Weekly and Roger Ebert – just to name a few. And gay women’s sites, besides AfterEllen, have sung its praises including AutoStraddle, SheWired along with wonderful lesbian bloggers like Scribegrrrl, Mombian, Lesbian Dad and Jenni Olson. This isn’t just a great gay movie, it’s a great movie. It’s what you want from cinema – to think and feel and empathize. And it does all of that while being subtly yet seriously subversive.

This weekend the movie opens wider to 28 more theaters around the country (and more next weekend) thanks to a very strong box office showing in limited release last weekend in NY, LA, SF and Chicago. If it’s coming to a theater near you, I would say run don’t walk. Seeing is believing, or at the very least knowing what you’re talking about if you still disbelieve.

I hate to say it, but some of the joy I felt in the theater has been muted by the response this film has received outside the theater. It hurts my heart to think that people are being so reactionary and closed-minded without seeing this film first. So this weekend I think I’ll go see it again. I want to recapture the magic and be reminded, once more, that everything is indeed all right. Happy weekend, all.

58 comments:

Nazo said...

Go Dorothy! I have been reading your blog for a couple years now, and am grateful to AE for revealing your presence to me. Not only do I enjoy the pretty pictures which you bring to my attention, I enjoy getting to know you. I admire your strength and look forward to every single post you write. Keep up the marvelous work!

CAB said...

It's unfortunate that some people have to attack a person simply because they do not agree with their opinion.

Personally your review of the movie has made me want to see it even more. I just have to wait for it to make it to Switzerland. *ugh*

Anna said...

Maybe they'll all stfu when they realize it's a movie about a family, and not a movie about lesbians.

Alicia said...

Prefacing this comment by saying I have not seen this movie, but I fully intend to.

Always the classiest gal around, go Ms. Snarker. I'm not sure if you saw my tweet (@lightcascades), but I was on the fence about seeing this film until I read your review. Before reading, I thought, "Okay, so Julianne Moore's character sleeps with a man... that sucks, I hope they get back together in the end, with her character realizing that she doesn't need a man." Clearly, I was thinking of this as a strictly lesbian movie, with all the cliches attached. Once I read your review and began to think of it as a movie about a family, my opinion changed a lot. Now, it's something like, "Julianne Moore's character sleeps with a guy out of a desperation for attention that she isn't getting from her wife. Yeesh, that sucks... I hope they can work it out." (I always want them to work it out, hah)

I don't know where I read it, but I saw someone write that the cheating was tolerable--but why couldn't it be with a random woman? Well, thinking of how this movie would turn it if it were just some random person... it wouldn't turn out the same at all. It would go from a family movie to one about a secret romance. This character (JM's) has a connection with Ruffalo's character--he's the long-lost father of her children. That's way more dramatic than some one night stand with a random woman.

Maybe it's a bit hypocritical of me to write all of this, considering that I have not seen the movie, but I'm going to it with an open mind. This is a movie, first and foremost, about family and family dynamics. Not strictly about lesbians and lesbian life.

Enna said...

I saw the movie, and I wish I hadn't. There was not one positive thing I took out of it. Once the cheating was done, and with such gusto, mind you, I didn't care anymore about the Jules character, nor what would happen with her. It's sad that a lesbian director has to make a move like this to reach mainstream audience - if she really craved mainstream audience that much, then why the heck did she take on lesbians at all? A lot of us would rather she hadn't. And please don't boast the fact that straight reviewers love the movie. Of course they will - it's safe! It really reaffirms the good old "yep, they are together, and maybe back together as well, but when the next right guy shows up, you never know"... If this is really the way most of the lesbian reviewers want lesbians to be portrayed in the movies, then no wonder there are no good lesbian or bisexual characters on TV or in theaters.

Anonymous said...

Good for you putting a clear opinion over and in a way that is not threatening but a concise and educated way.

I haven't seen this film yet, to be honest I think people can make up their own damn minds. The aggressive emails have shocked me and I'm amazed at how close minded people can be. Look, who cares for god's sake it is after all a film and one that isn't even based on fact and is just a story.

To conclude my mini rant. People can be and do as they please providing it does no horrible harm we are in the end only human and if our minds and attractions change then well.......... it happens

Anonymous said...

PC for PC's sake isn't very PC.

EM said...

Am writing from the far east here...and it's honestly quite shocking how some american lesbians are reacting to the movie. We're all looking forward to watching the movie here, and although it's highly unlikely it will make it to theaters here, we will get to watch it on DVD. It's Julianne Moore and Annette Benning ladies! Come on!
BTw that email-y thing....belligerent much? America is the land of the free, we get it, but really?
You have a great weekend DS, and I so envy you enjoying Ms Moore and Ms Benning again, on big screen!

Anonymous said...

I've been following the response to the film both here and at AfterEllen. My recollection of the comments is that the objection isn't "I haven't seen this movie but I hate it". It's "I haven't seen this movie but I hate the cliche that the lesbian sleeps with a man and will therefore not see the movie". There is a distinction between these two thoughts.

It makes me wonder why this point was spoiled in the reviews both here and at AfterEllen. Especially when you a) knew it would infuriate many of your readers and b) were of the belief that it wouldn't hinder anyone's enjoyment of the film. Was it to start a dialogue? Because it did. Was it to warn viewers so they wouldn't be blindsided by it? Because it did that, too.

After countless versions of the lesbian sleeps with a man story, it shouldn't be surprising that many of your readers have developed a Lucy and the football reaction to yet another one. We are being asked once again to believe that this time we can be confident that she won't pull away the football if we go to kick it. But for whatever reason, this time there are many readers saying no. It might not be fair to this film but it isn't a shocking development either. Good grief, indeed.

I'm very happy you enjoyed the film. Your review as well as positive comments from friends are enough for me to put it on my Netflix list when the DVD comes out so I can judge for myself.

Anonymous said...

I loved the Lucy with the football analogy. Lesbians are tired of the way this stereotype ( lesbian fluidity) can dominate the stories about who we are.

However that said ( except for the excessive gusto of the sex scenes between the cheaters) I liked the film very much and appreciate that this film was made by these actresses at this time.

Kathryn said...

It's a tricky issue. The man-comes-between-two-lesbians is such a dull and (often) offensive old chestnut, going back to censored English novel The Well of Loneliness (1928) and far beyond.

That said, I've been keen to see this film for ages, respect the people involved in its creation, and will be there on opening night in my city. I'm always up for an intelligent film about lesbians.

Anonymous said...

A quick poll here, please ladies: Bearing in mind I nearly vomited watching Tina screw Henry - will this movie traumatize me?

TheWeyrd1 said...

I saw the movie last night at a special preview in Denver (so I got in free, although I was totally intending on PAYING to see it). Anyway, I enjoyed it quite a lot. It's one of those movies you wanna watch a few times so you can memorize some of the lines for later usage...heh Shut the door! Yep, there are definitely cringe worthy scenes...and I really don't like watching male-female sex scenes that are more than 50% revealing...of the skin that is. Mostly I laughed though as it is a very funny movie. The kids are MORE than alright I'd say. I also teared up a few times. And yes, that's what you want in a movie.

The problem some lesbian identified women (of which I'm one) have with the movie, when they haven't seen it, is that they don't understand the context AND the outcome that frame the dalliance that Jules had with Paul. They would have to actually SEE the movie to get it...

Carolyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beebee said...

Oh Snarker, what silliness you've been subjected to.

Your review was great and people get passionate about their identities, experiences, opinions.

Keep going! Enjoy the popcorn!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this! I agree, wholeheartedly, with everything you wrote -- your review, your reactions to the harsh criticism from lesbians who haven't seen the film, etc. -- and I am so incredibly appreciative that you took extra space to write about the hostility, vitriol and frankly, the sheer idiocy that has been spewing all over the queer interwebs.

I wrote comments about the film on both the NYTimes website(where the film got a rave review) and on AfterEllen (in the article that discussed what I felt to be a misguided interpretation of Jules' sexual identity; i.e., bisexuality). I have never before posted comments in either one of these forums, but felt compelled to do so because I want queer folks to see that some of us thought the film was totally, absolutely fantastic. Not without flaws, of course, but overall, one of the best films I've seen. With or without lesbians.

But it's amazing to me, to see how closed-minded queer women are being. It's a f&*^ing movie - it's art, it's a representation, and it's one person's story. It's important to tell diverse stories, which is just what Cholodenko did, and did incredibly well.

I feel as though queer women who are dismissing the film (obviously, because of the Jules and Paul situation) have totally missed the point of the film (because they didn't see it, I imagine). Which makes me both incredibly infuriated, and really, really sad.

Anyway, kudos to you -- and thank you for your intelligent, passionate, witty, and always compelling review - and response to the crazy talk circulating.

Anonymous said...

I don't need to see a movie to spot a tired plot device when I see one. The same way I can say that Twilight is not my type of movie without actually watching it. There are so many rationalizations that defenders can come up with to justify the lesbian sleeping with a dude device. Emily slept with JJ? It's just a pity fuck. Ming-Na's Stargate character slept with a dude? She was possessed. etc. etc. There are ALWAYS justifications for it. At this point one has to wonder why that plot device even has to be used at all.

BTW, that Autostraddle review managed to love that movie and still point out that the sleeping with a dude thing was tired and annoying. So was the Afterelton review. I don't understand why that's so hard to do for some.

mel p. said...

I just want to give you another GO DOROTHY comment. I have been reading your blog for a while now and was glad it was you reviewing for afterellen. I wouldn't have liked to be in your position, cos I'm sure it was a *really* hard review to write, esp. for that audience.

All the 'I haven't seen this movie but I have an opinion anyway' stuff made me stop reading after a few comments. I sound like a grumpy old bag when I say it, but I strongly suspect most afterellen commenters might see the world a bit differently after they've grown up a bit.

Life just ain't that black and white.

Anonymous said...

dorothy,

wouldn't be a lesbian column without controversy over how lesbians are portrayed. You must therefore be a real lesbian. don't blow it by having an affair with a man : )

I jest about something so serious - stereotypes don't they just totally suck!!! Yes.

So let's live our lives without them.

I have written elsewhere I liked this movie - I learned about why people cheat from it. I learned about mid life and the pressure on marriages when children grow up. I laughed. I cringed. I was moved.

Dorothy - tell your truth - it's what your good at. We may not always agree and we may fight over Tina Fey if it ever comes to that but I respect your writing.

\

Vikki said...

It opens here tonight and I'll be there and then I'll bore everyone with more analysis. Can't wait!

barbie said...

i had very strong opinions about this movie. (as evidenced in my blog-http://barbarellaisbi.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/fridays-are-fucking-fabulous-26/) but in the end, i loved this movie, what is represented and how it made me feel. i too had pixar tears. totes agree!

MizGarfield said...

Go Dorothy! You rock! We love your writing, your reviews. Please keep up the good work. We will watch the movie as soon as it shows in Holland. We are jealous as you get to watch it a second time. Enjoy.

Carol said...

Ya know what (ironically) is putting me off this film the most? This counter reaction by proponents of the film, that if you have reservations about the storyline, you're reactionary and vitriolic and closeminded - and now, thanks DS, akin to right wing reactionaries, too? Really?

I think disagreements and discussion and POVs can be discussed without having to demonize the other side to make cheap points. (That goes for either end of the spectrum).

I'm heartedly disappointed that totally valid reservations about mainstream depictions of lesbian identity in media has been distilled to "if you don't agree with me, you're an idiot".

I agree we should all be civil about differences, and don't support heated word slinging, but opposing opinions should be respected if respectfully voiced.

If I object to a particular plot device, and I know going in that no amount of good acting/directing, "nuanced", "complex" storytelling is going to overcome that for me, why would I subject myself to it, and more so, reward the depiction with my $$ as well.

I'm more than okay that someone else is able to get past the trope and see it as some kind of akido turning-the-trope-to-our-advantage move. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I won't insult you for that.

Please don't insult my principles and perspective in return.

The film is being touted on a website (AE) and by some of its writers, which routinely examines how media depicts GLBT and how that DOES have an impact and is pretty much the whole point of their existence.

So for those same people to tell us we're silly to have concerns, and worse, make us feel badly for voicing them is just absurd to me.

The film is not an island. It is nestled in the context of a much broader representation covering decades of film and TV. I cannot divorce myself from that knowledge when regarding this film.

If that makes me a Jerry Falwell, I'm sure he'd be surprised at the company. Hopefully, he likes pot lucks.

Anonymous said...

Very well said, Carol. I hope they get it though I kinda doubt it.

Eliza Canty-Jones said...

Thanks to you and LD, I ran right out to see this movie after work (I rarely see movies, so the link to opening cities this morning was helpful and had me in happy anticipation all day). I know people are upset about what they see as cliche in the lesbian-sleeps-with-man storyline, but where does that leave the Nic character in the assessment? She counts too, and anyway, the Paul character is so left outside alone by the end, how can he or the affair look at all heroic?

Thanks for getting me out to the movies, and for all the other awesomeness on your blog.

Amanda said...

I think if a film can stir up this much talk so quickly (regardless of it's positive or negative quality) it means the film did what it was supposed to do: make the audience react. I say, bravo! Here is a piece of socialogical history via the art of film. also I would hope that lesbians in America are just plain tired of being angry. I'm totally behind this film and all of its implications. ha :)

Amanda

Amanda

Norma Desmond said...

Crazies are going to be crazy. Hope you refound your happiness at the movies!

chester said...

Go Dorothy!

Carol - I think everyone is entitled to have their opinions about this movie and nobody is a "bad lesbian" if they don't like it. But I personally would value a person's opinions about a movie more if they've actually seen the movie that they are having an opinion about and would gladly debate them if our opinions of it differed in any way. Most of the vitriol I have been reading on various forums about how this movie is yet another evil cliche that should be avoided like the plague seems to be coming from people who have not actually seen it. So yeah, don't be surprised if people write you off as "another angry lesbian".

I just don't get all the hate on DS. She didn't make the movie. She just happened to watch and liked it and wrote about it. I for one appreciated her review because I was actually going to put this movie off for video viewing but now am actually very interested in seeing it just to see what everyone is getting worked up about. So thanks DS!

kennedyismyhero said...

You know, I don't comment here often..usually when there's a picture of a pretty lady and I want to extend my gratitude, but only very rarely when I feel a post warrants my two cents, and here is such a post.

Let me just say when I first heard about this movie, this lesbian movie with friggin' Julianne Moore and Annette Bening as lesbians I was sold. Then I heard figured out the whole tried and true lesbian-cheats-with-man thing and I was...less thrilled. Eager to see, just not quite Stick It-thrilled. But certainly not ready to burn some bras, revoke some toasters, send some hate mail but understandably perturbed. Regardless, I was still aiming to see it but if it didn't come anywhere near me, it was still going on my Netflix queue eventually.

Now I see there is all this hubub concerning the very thing that was tripping me up and well...this is really the long-winded version of saying NOW I AM DEFINITELY GONNA SEE IT (AND JUDGE IT) FOR MYSELF. I refuse to think of myself bandwagon-ing on to a bunch of loons who'd go to these lengths, even peripherally and even if it'd just be me who knew.

I hope all those haters out there are happy cause all there flaming outrage just secured this movie another ticket sale. :P

EM said...

@kennedyismyhero,

YAY!!! *cheering from the far east*

Anonymous said...

Hey Dorothy, I don't agree with your review, but we're all entitled to our opinion. So silly to flame you because of it. We don't have to like all the same movies / dramas all the time! Team Snarker, I am.

Cait said...

I just think you should know that I think you are simply amazing.

I have not seen The Kids Are Alright, but I fully intend to.

Actually what I find quite amusing is that some people have the attitude that it wouldn't have mattered if Jules had cheated on Nic with a woman, it was that she cheated on Nic with a MAN. Now I find that attitude rather bizzare, I identify as lesbian and have slept with a man before (2 infact :P) and yet I identify as a lesbian.

What I would like to see is a film about a lesbian couple, where nobody cheats, but the fact this has cheating in it will not stop me going to see it, just like cheating partners does not stop people from going to see 'straight' movies.

Anyway, my point is, well there was no point, but I believe you are fabulous, and I say 'To hell with the haters' and also that it was wrong of that person to post your personal correspondence without your permission.

Keep writing, hilariously awesome stuff (and talking about Tina Fey (who I adore moer than you do :P)) because you are quite simply, extroadinary.

Also, if I could work out where to find you e-mail was I would have e-mailed you but I couldn't find it after preliminary searches and to be honest I couldn't be bothered looking more...

jas said...

Valid points, Carol. I respect your decision to not see the film based on the plot point alone. I really loved the film, even though I get tired of seeing the lesbian-sleeping-with-a-man plot point, as well. You mention, Carol, that the movie is not an island. I agree that it's not, but I also think people can decide to respond to and judge a film independent of greater trends in lesbian-themed films. Yes, it's annoying that there's another lesbian sleeping with a man on film or TV, but as a stand-alone film, I thought the film was fantastic. I respect everyone's opinion, but I think how you choose to perceive the movie, as a political piece or as just entertainment, will impact your take on it. I do think that always having the former perspective can be exhausting, but I know that's just how some people are.

Ada said...

You don't need to see a movie to know what it's about. If people are complaining about something that doesn't happen, that's one thing. But that's not the case here, where yes, a lesbian does cheat on her partner with a man. That's a pretty controversial trope, one that many people have personal reasons for disliking. It doesn't matter how good the movie is, because that is enough to ruin it for them. And that's fine, because lesbians are not obligated to like every movie with lesbian characters. I've read quite a few positive reviews and nothing has made me want to see it. Even though it sounds like a good film, it doesn't appeal to me. I'm sick of "lesbians secretly crave cock" and "lesbian mommies" *and* "one partner cheats on each other and is supposed to be sympathetic." So there's nothing here that I want to watch. Why would I want to spend money on a movie that I'm very unlikely to enjoy?

Looking for my Lost Life said...

I am a lesbian and I saw the movie. I had read your detailed review on AfterEllen, so I knew what to expect and was trying to be open minded. I have to say that I loved the movie. It wasn't about Jules having sex with a guy. It was about marraige and family. It made me laugh and cry and I think it was one of the best things that has happened for our community in a long time. I felt like we were portrayed in a way that could be identified with by anyone.

Anonymous said...

What is it with lesbians being "disappointed" in almost every movie or TV series that has lesbian character in it?
I'm writing movie scripts and I'm a lesbian but I wouldn't dream of writing a "lesbian movie" because I know all hell would break loose if I did. There wouldn't be enough "ethnic variety" in the characters or not enough butches/femmes or bisexuals or transgenders. The characters possibly would have the wrong jobs, the wrong friends, the wrong kind of relationship.
The thing is that when I write scripts I'm interested in the charcters and their story. The last thing I have in mind is if everbody watching it will be satisfied. That is not what a good movie is about. Like a book it has to make sense within the little world and set of rules it creates and if that means that a character is going to do something not everyone will like, but makes sense within the story, so be it.
I mean, I really hated that Joss Whedon killed Tara in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but it was the only way to make it believable that Willow would turn to evil. To take away the great love of her life, the person in her life that mattered the most, was the only way of doing that and if you think about it, it actually was one hell of an argument that the relationship between two women is more than just "a phase". Still what happend was that everyone blamed him for using the old "lesbian has to die" cliché.
And now there is Lisa Cholodenko who wrote and directed such brilliant movies as High Art and Laurel Canyon (for which I'll always be grateful). She is responsible for two of the best movies I've ever seen and all the discussion of her new film is about is "Uh, one of the women sleeps with a guy!". Get a grip, people! Go see the movie and try not to think about clichés or what you think the story should have been like. Watch it as the movie that it is and than judge for yourself if the storyline makes sense. It's actually not about that every lesbian secretly waits for "Mr. Right". It is about family and confusion when your relationship's not working the way it should be. And about human beings, (bad) decisions and how to cope with their outcome. The way I see Lisa Cholodenko by watching her movies (and no, I'm not paid by her either) she is interested in relationships between people and the only way to find out how you characters are going to react is to give them a conflict. Would it have been better if Jules had cheated with a women (what a weird sentence)? Probably, but it wouldn't have made any sense, cause the movie is about a lesbian family trying to find out how to "fit in" the man who is the father of the children. So a "random" one-night stand with a woman who has nothing to do with the rest of the story simply makes no sense.
I am deeply sorry, that Lisa Cholodenko who is a very fine writer gets all this harsh comments for trying to make a good movie and I am also sorry that you, dear Dorothy, can't have an opinion about a movie without people accusing you of being a hypocrite or being paid by someone. I really enjoyed your review (as I do reading your blog) and I hope you have fun watching it for a second time. I'd buy you some popcorn if I didn't live on another continent. *grins*

Anonymous said...

Wow. Lots of deeply felt comments. I have to say I'm not motivated to see this film anymore. Cheat with whom ever to make a plot point. BUT ...

1. some of you saying he's the 'father' of the children and so it's different. Wrong. He's not the father, just some stranger who donated sperm.

2. if the great, 'gust' sex scene was between the women, then yes, I might see it. They could have implied the sex or given a less steamy screen version ... but they gave it 'gusto' for the straight audience. And that's not me. Don't care for to see it, to be honest.

3. I don't need to see it, to determine if it's a movie I would like. Now to comment if it's a good movie or not, then yes, I'd have to see it. But to know whether I'm interested in it or would enjoy it fully? No.

My 2 cents

Carol said...

@Chester - If you look over the comments on various threads about Kids, including the ones on AE, you will see quite a number of people who DID see the film but still left really disliking the choices the filmmaker made.

Seeing the film doesn't seem to make the reservations any more valid in some eyes or seems to be often ignored during the debate.

I WAS actually was on the fence about seeing the film. I liked High Art and Laurel Canyon. I'm not looking for a pristine PC depiction of queer life from her or anyone else. This was just a trope too far across the line for me, personally. Just as it took me 2 years to finally see Notes on a Scandal (even tho I ADORE Cate B) because I knew the ol' Predatory Spinster cliche was in full force (for the record: sadly didn't overcome the trope there for me).

@Jas I appreciate your respectful words. Perhaps it's cause I'm older and remember a time when the cliches were ALL we got, so they send up a bigger flare for me when they stick their tiny lil' heads back up. It IS tiring, but because there's so much room for improvement. I don't feel I'm tilting at windmills here.

@Anon 10:12 The problem for me is, that the weight of LGBT depiction is still too far on the cliched/detrimental side. We don't have a cache of GOOD portrayals to counter the bad. For every straight murderer you have 20 straight rom coms.

I would love to just be able to view a movie where the killer just happens to be gay or label-less. It's incidental, like eye color. But because of RL reality of where we fit in society, that's just not the case, and every GLBT character has (unwanted) cultural weight and import to them. That won't change until our RL position in society changes. In other words: I'll be post-gay in a post-bashing world.

And generally, folks: I agree there's been some OTT comments made and attacking DS or anyone else personally is beyond the pale. But why so quick to dismiss EVERYone as "haters" and "flamers" etc. that simply have reservations and voice them? That's OTT, too.

Anyway, enjoy the wkend. Let's play nice out there.

Anonymous said...

Don't let the bastards get you down! chin up love! from london x

Anonymous said...

"I understand if you are worried, wary, worked up by the idea of Julianne Moore’s character sleeping with Mark Ruffalo. I was, too – before I saw the movie."

It's good to practice what you preach, you filthy hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

I love your review. So, go Dorothy!

BTW, I'm just glad I'm a lesbian living out of the US. So much anger there!

Anonymous said...

"It's good to practice what you preach, you filthy hypocrite."

Why doesn't whoever wrote this get a life instead of insulting someone who has a different opinion about a piece of art?! Is this really the level of discussion you want? That's pathetic!
So it is a movie you don't like. You don't see me attacking people for liking The Crimson Rivers (which is officially one of the worst movies I've ever seen). What's so different with this one. That the filmmaker's a lesbian and made a choice you don't like? That's why you take this personally? Because she's "one of our own"? I don't see/hear/read you protesting about the one million really bad movies where the lesbian finally sleeps with the guy cause he's "her cure". Oh, get over it people. It's a good movie and Lisa Cholodenko is on the light side of the force.

april ann said...

I've had lesbian friends over the years who have slept with a guy or two, c'mon, it happens, for a variety of reasons. Can anyone really say it doesn't? If someone is your friend you don't kick them out of the club for living their lives the way they feel they need to. Let's not be so holier than dick.

Anonymous said...

"It's good to practice what you preach, you filthy hypocrite."

The point is that DS withheld judgment until she saw the movie. Others didn't. No hypocrisy there.

virgotex said...

Brava Ms Snarker and Brava Lisa Cholodenko. No one who has seen any of Cholodenko's previous films should have been surprised by this one. Those who think this was made to pander to a mainstream straight audience are, sadly, missing the point.

Life, love, sex, desire, marriage, and other relationships are not black and white, young chickens. Nothing in this world is. To those who think they are, you are either blind, hardened, exceptionally lucky, or very young and inexperienced.

If you take the film on face value, rather than use it to validate your own worst expectations, maybe you can see a different story, a braver choice of story.

But it's your choice, of course. You can trash Cholodenko as a conformist, boycott the film, and congratulate yourself on the absolute certainty you have in your world view.

Good luck with that. Way to go, Dorothy.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I think it's always great when a film can spark debate...sorry you've received some less-than-mature comments, Snark...that's not right. But, debate is always good.

My view is we all carry our own baggage into the theatre, so everyone is going to have a slightly different take.

I've been in a monogamous lesbian relationship for 21 years (and I'm still younger than 50). I don't have kids. So that's what I went into the film with.

I thought it was a really good depiction of a family and how they would deal with the situation presented. I'm not yet sure it's a "great" film...still thinking about it. Not exactly in the Oscar camp yet. But it was very good.

As for the relationship between Jules and Paul - it didn't feel out of context. And I still think Jules is a lesbian...having the relationship with Paul didn't change that. I actually think having the "fling", if you will, be with a man made it less of a threat to Jule's & Nic's relationship. I think Nic could allow their marriage to move forward but would not have been able to if the "fling" had been with a woman. THAT would have been more destructive to their marriage, imho.

Anyway...just wanted to toss another perspective out there.

Shawn said...

What I think everyone wants to know is why isn't there outrage in the dental community? It totally didn't look like they were brushing their teeth with toothpaste. But be that as it may...

Regardless of which way a person's opinion falls- why is that a statement about being a lesbian, good, bad or otherwise. Maybe they did't like your review, maybe they didn't like the movie but unless they've dated you - how the F do they know what kind of lesbian you are?

Reminds me of Pat Benatar's "Hell is for Children" being condemned by the PMRC for it's "satanic lyrics". And then they listened to it. And went "oops".

theredbaron said...

Shawn -- I complement you on your powers of observation! I have noticed that when tooth brushing is portrayed on TV or in the movies that the toothpaste is missing most of the time. It drives me nuts to see ads for toothbrushes and toothpaste in which the product they're advertising is absent/misused! Would you sell spaghetti sauce by showing a bowl of bare pasta? Heck, no!

Phew, I needed to get that off of my chest. You may now resume the previous "debate" (or not).

Anonymous said...

Saw this movie this weekend and thought it sucked.

Every character got a 2-dimensional treatment and several set ups had terrible follow through. Didn't care for this family, as depicted, and I felt sorry for all the actors in this mess of a film. (What was up with Julianne Moore's character and her treatment of the hispanic employee?)

I wish I could get those 2 hours back.

Having said that, I love your blog, DS, and defend to the death your right to post anything you darn well please.

Keep up the great work....

Steph Mineart said...

Well if you say so - okay. I'll go see it. Just the thought of the storyline leaves me cold, but I like you and respect your judgment, so I'll open my mind and go. If I still hate it, I'll try to explain why on my own blog, and without trashing you for asking me to open my head and think, which is never a bad thing, ever.

astroidb612 said...

I'm wondering if any of the posters who refuse to see this movie watch the Real L Word, because it occurs to me if there's a show out there we should be terrified of straight america perceiving as a true representation of lesbians, it's that one.

and...this all brings to mind a conversation i had with my sister years ago when i came out to her. I was explaining why it was important that gay people be accurately represented on TV and in the movies. And she said to me, "I watch TV and the movies to be entertained. Everything I learned about lesbians i learned from Tammy and BJ next door."

I never forget that. Maybe the best thing we can do is let the Movie industry entertain us and let our real lives speak for who we are.

;) babs said...

is there at least a happy ending? do they get back together?

EM said...

Can someone who has seen the movie let on what the kids call each mom? I don't mind being totally spoiled as I have no idea when I will get to watch the movie! Thanks heaps!

EM said...

babs, from what I've read, yes they do! :))

groovycol said...

I've been struggling to feel the #yaygay since the backlash to your review started. I'm disappointed in the community. I'm downright mad at all the hate being sent your way. I finally saw the movie last night, and finally have my own opinion (well, I'm still working on it...) But my opinion is beside the point. I make my own opinions about stuff I see, but I turn to media reviewers like you to get a thoughtful take on how movies, tv, etc fit into the cultural big picture. I appreciate your frankness, your humor and your clever writing. Thanks to being open to debate, even with those who seek to shut down the conversation before it has even started.

aeryn296 said...

My goodness spaceodyssey does go on, doesn't she?

I haven't seen the movie (it's not out in the UK yet), but from what I've read from your good self & others, it would be foolish to vilify the film based on this single act which, though not inconsequential (cheating never is no matter who's doing it) does not make the lesbian relationship any less valid.

I'm looking forward to seeing TKAAR so that I can see the context in which the cheating happens, but most importantly, so that I can see a good film.

Artists should be true to the story they are trying to tell and should not have to worry about who they will offend (particularly as some people are so very quick to be offended), or political correctness or falling into cliches or stereotypes (just because something is a cliche or a stereotype, doesn't mean it doesn't happen). If the truth is told well, that should be enough. Sometimes the truth of the story is hard to watch and you won't always like it, but you should never dismiss it as nonsense. You should also never brow beat someone until they share your opinion - this rarely works and just results in a headache and the loss of a friend/buddy/follower etc.

Anonymous said...

I have never seen a film with two gay women characters where I DID NOT want to see them approach one another. These two had negative chemistry. The kids were great. Otherwise, BORING. Where's Patricia Clarkson as a German junkie when you need her?!

Anonymous said...

Love is blind and, apparently, so is being judgmental. If you don't like the movie, that's one thing, but the hate and passionate disdain for Lisa Cholodenko (and Dorothy Snarker) is completely unwarranted.

Great movie. Great review. A filmmaker / writer / director should be able to create a piece of work without the pressure of a group's agenda, unless of course that is their intention. The whole premise is about lesbian parents, their two kids, and the sperm donor. To have Jules cheat with another woman would necessitate the addition of another character into the plot, which would complicate and distract from the essence of this film.