Co-Writer/Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Running time: 106 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15
UK Release date: 29th October 2010
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 25th September 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
Ok, I had better make it clear from the start that this film does not feature the rock band ‘The Who’… They did a film with a similar title back in 1979 so I didn’t want there to be any confusion from the start. This, on the other hand is about a lesbian couple with two children… more or less the opposite of ‘The Who’ really. But to be serious for a moment, this film gained quite a lot of critical praise when it came out and so I thought I might give it a look. Although it’s not my usual fare, I did find it quite interesting up to a point, but it kind of ran out of steam towards the end (IMO). More of my thoughts after this brief summary.
A lesbian couple, Jules and Nic had two children by artificial insemination. They are a boy, Laser (now 15) and a girl, Joni (now 18). Joni is about to move away to college and Laser asks her, being of age, to get in touch with the sperm donor that was used to conceive them. She agrees and they make contact with restaurant owner Paul who also happens to grow a lot of organic food as well. They meet and, after a faltering start, eventually get on quite well together. The kids tell their moms and Paul eventually meets them. The film then goes on to explore the effect Paul has on the lives of the members of this rather unusual family. Not wishing to enrage the Spoiler Police (lesbian division) I will end my brief summary here.
A well made film without any spectacular cinematography or music, this film is more of a character study than anything else. A lot of the critical praise was aimed at the performances and I can see why; both Julianne Moore as Jules and Annette Bening as Nic did a brilliant job! I thought Mark Ruffalo as Paul was also very good, but I was most impressed with the kids. Both Mia Wasikowska as Joni and Josh Hutcherson as Laser were great. It was so refreshing to see a couple of young characters that were not the greedy teenage morons we usually gets stuck with.
As I hinted at the beginning, the film does kind of lose a bit of steam towards the end but that’s not to say it was all bad. There were a couple of laughs along the way, but I did find it quite a serious piece. For all the great performances I was surprised that it didn’t have the emotional impact that I’m sure the filmmakers wanted it to have. Nicely paced with an interesting plot (for the most part) it did keep me entertained for much of the time, but ultimately lost it in the end. I’m going to deem it recommended (just) despite this.
My Score: 6.4/10.
IMDb Score: 7.2/10 (based on 36,349 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94/100 (based on 204 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
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Jules: I wish you were gay; you'd be much more sensitive.