The title tells you defensively upfront that gay families are all right... perhaps as all right as traditional families declare they are all right. After all, the actors are the same: parents, children and extended families. I was happily surprised to find some mature faces in the audience catching the opening of the movie today. They looked like parents with adult children. Perhaps something else is playing out in their lives and they had come to take a peak at what gay family life was like. Buffered by the security of the darkness in the theatre, our reflection and response privately held court as we watched the life of a gay family unfold before us.
[Annette Bening is an actor I have long admired, one who has an aura of old Hollywood glamour that eludes many today. For Warren Beatty to be smitten enough to get hitched, she must be some woman.]
I like the realistic portrayal of marital relationship, parent-teen conflict, [Bening's character sounded like me!], teenage angst, the vulnerability of loneliness in a troubled marriage, and the pain of betrayal. But there was something else that made me feel heavy: I sensed an unspoken sadness in a gay relationship that seems absent even in the worst heterosexual relationship. A buddy of the gay couple's daughter made a pointed remark about another teen: that she sexualized everything. That gave me the thought that maybe that is what gives place to same-sex romance: that perhaps something very good has been sexualized and romanticised.
This is every bit a family drama but of a different kind. Julianne Moore and Bening are as credible as any married couple and parents. The drama was realistic and I cried when they cried. Maybe that can't be avoided when both partners are women.
I hope people will see humanity and be humane in their attitude towards gays even though we may see things differently. At the end of the day, what makes them cry, will also make you cry; and vice versa. We can make more room for empathy.