Queerantined

Daily Dose: An ode to Motherhood, queer style

Welcome to Queerty’s latest entry in our series, Queerantined: Daily Dose. Every weekday as long as the COVID-19 pandemic has us under quarantine, we’ll release a suggested bit of gloriously queer entertainment designed to keep you from getting stir crazy in the house. Each weekend, we will also suggest a binge-able title to keep you extra engaged.

The Mommies Dearest: The Kids are All Right

Mother’s Day may have been yestereday, but this 2010 gem doesn’t get enough credit as a modern queer text examining the realities of same-sex parenting. Writer/director Lisa Cholodenko based The Kids are All Right on her own experience as a lesbian mom, having used a sperm donor for conception. Annette Benning and Julianne Moore star as Nic and Jules, a longtime couple raising a pair of teenagers (Mia Wasikowska and a very baby-faced Josh Hutcherson). As the kids come of age, they grow curious about their sperm donor. The pair do a bit of detective work, and meet Paul (Mark Ruffalo), a middle-aged hipster, who takes an immediate shine to the kids…and to Jules. The pair have an affair borne less out of sexual attraction, and more out of a shared love for the children. Needless to say, their affair invites all kids of radical questions about sexuality and family, especially when Paul suggests Jules leave Nic for a heteronormative life.

The Kids are All Right confronts questions that same-sex couples often face when it comes to raising children and the systemic sexism that assumes all women need men in their lives. Benning scored an Oscar nomination for one of her most nuanced and neurotic performances, as did Ruffalo for his turn as a lifelong bachelor suffering a midlife crisis. As the number of same-sex parents in our society grows, no doubt the philosophical questions raised by the film will have a greater resonance. Furthermore, it’s a moving and thoughtful entertainment…perfect for saluting moms.

Streams on Amazon, YouTube, iTunes, VUDU and Hulu.