This and The Switch (which I’ve seen and is super unrealistic and not actually about donors) are the only two films I know of about sperm donation. I’ve wanted to watch this one for awhile and since I’m not successfully ignoring the fact that I am probably going to get my LH surge tomorrow and go for my first IUI on Sunday, I thought I might as well embrace my nerves and finally sit down for this film.
The Kids Are All Right. The title, at least, is promising.
The idea that the sperm donor (Paul, played by Mark Ruffalo) seems to live right down the road from the kids seems unrealistic. I guess it’s possible for other people’s situations. This idea of getting to know the sperm donor and sharing meals with him won’t be part of most people’s experiences; however, it seems like this film is still reflective of many anxieties a person or couple using a sperm donor might feel. Looking at the feelings of the kids about their donor is very interesting as well. The themes of the film can be relatable to anyone. Families are complicated. Relationships are complicated. Nature vs. Nuture.
Some things (spoiler included):
– What if I think I am naming my kid something awesome, but it turns out it is a name like Laser (Josh Hutcherson)?
– The moms are concerned that the children’s desire to have a relationship with their sperm donor means the moms are not enough. This is a worry I can definitely connect to. What if my child feels like this? What if I’m not enough?
– One of the reasons that they picked this donor was because he was studying International Relations and now they are shocked to learn that he dropped out of school.
– Joni’s friends are very accepting of her unusual family dynamic.
– “Can I ask you something? Why’d you donate sperm?” “It seemed like a lot more fun than donating blood.” Paul says actually he wanted to help people. Laser wants to know how much Paul got paid. I worry that the transaction nature of sperm donation will make potential future spawn feel awkward.
– Am I supposed to feel that Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo are attracted to each other or am I just heteronormalizing this movie?
– Ok, yes I am supposed to think they are attracted to each other.
– I expected Laser to bond more with Paul but Joni is the one who seems to really relish having the father role in her life.
– I don’t know how Nic is going to be redeemed by the end of this film. I mean there’s no way this film can possibly be a romance between Paul and Jules.
– Ok, all the adults in this movie are awful. The kids are…(wait for it)…alright.
– And yet everyone ends up super sympathetic. Paul falls in love with having a family and because he’s the outsider, when he messes up he loses it all. The other adults who make mistakes get to keep the family. On the other hand, being a sperm donor does not give you the right to the family and that’s important. But it’s still a super sad resolution for him.
– “I just wish that you could have been…better.” The dangers of meeting your sperm donor.
– The ending, like the title, reaffirms that this movie is not about the scandalous love triangle stuck in its middle, but about the kids.