The kids may be alright, but the title is horrible, it did nothing to entice me to watching this best picture Oscar nominee. When I heard the title, the kids are alright, I imagined a children’s comedy where unruly ten to twelve-year-old kids go on adventures and get themselves into trouble, all the while outwitting adults, and in the end their childish fantasy and games make them heroes. That is not this movie; this is a family drama with conflict between the two teenage kids and their lesbian parents as the kids seek out their sperm donor dad.
The movie opens well with establishing the family characters and the inciting incident, but from there it looses focus and as the run time hastened toward the climax, the story arc runs out of breath and limps toward the end. Without the properly defined conflicts and consequences, it is simply hard to get excited for the storyline or its characters.
The cast is strong, but several of the conflicts are poorly illuminated and there is a distinct lack of any resolution. It is in essence a 2 hour window into a family and its conflicts, but when the window shuts, we are left wondering why we were peeping. The director should have either taken the story more seriously and put one of the conflicts in focus, or lightened up the mood. The family drama has several humorous moments, but not enough to warrant comedy status. The lacking focus and resolution would have been more excusable, if the movie had leaned more toward a comedy, and perhaps been entitled “Daddy Issues”.