Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says Iffy for 17+
Mature, witty family dramedy explores love, parenthood.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this witty, worldly dramedy about a lesbian couple whose teenage children decide to acquaint themselves with their sperm-donor father deals frankly (and compassionately) with all of the complications that could arise in that situation -- including marital discord, infidelity, biological identity, nature vs. nurture,
and letting go of a child on the brink of adulthood. Thanks to those themes and some other fairly mature content -- including partial nudity (breasts, buttocks) during sex scenes, clips from a pornographic movie, swearing, and teenage drinking and drug use -- The Kids Are All Right is best for older teenagers and adults.
- Families can talk about the troubles that Nic and Jules face as parents and partners. What does the movie say about relationships and parenting?
- What makes someone a good parent? How does the media typically portray parents? Do the parents in this movie seem more or less realistic to you than those in other movies/TV shows? Why?
- How does the movie portray teen drinking and drug use? Are there consequences for the behavior? What do you think would happen in real life?
The good stuff
Positive messages: The movie's central messages revolve around parenting, presenting it as a difficult task, but one with infinite rewards if you do your job right. It suggests that being a parent goes way beyond titles -- what is a mother? what is a father? -- and that it's who you are and how you treat your kids that makes you a good parent (or not). The film also seems to be saying that growing up requires some distancing from our parents -- a dicey transition that can bring out the worst in people, at least for a little while.
Positive role models: Nic and Jules are devoted to their children, and even though they make mistakes, take each other for granted, and are prone to bickering, they love and respect each other. Paul steps up and embraces fatherhood, despite his unusual path to that role. And although teens Laser and Joni push boundaries, they're aware that their actions have repercussions for which they should be responsible.
What to watch for
Violence: A teenage boy berates and belittles his friend and hits him. Men and women hurt the ones they love both with actions and with words.
Sexy stuff: A man and a woman are seen having sex; her breasts are visible, and his
behind is shown thrusting. Teens watch a pornographic movie that shows men hooking up with each other (their behinds are visible). A woman goes under the covers and performs a sex act on her female partner. A teen girl talks about older men -- and everything else -- in a sexualized manner.
Language: Many uses of words including “bitches," “ass," "s--t," "f--k," "d--k," "p---y," "oh my God" (as an exclamation), and "hell."
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Teens are shown drinking and crushing a pill, then snorting the resulting powdery substance. An adult appears to like drinking a bit too much, and she and her partner bicker over it.