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#1 of 17 Old 08-03-2010, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just wondering whether any of you saw this and, if yes, what you thought.

I saw it last night and am still mulling it over.
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#2 of 17 Old 08-03-2010, 09:29 AM
 
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I was thinking about starting a thread about this. I have heard such mixed things. A good friend said that she thought it was such a cliche and to just wait until it is out on video and others have raved about it. Curious to hear other people's thoughts. What did you think. beep?

J & A together for 6 years love.gif married since 11/09 & so in love with our DD, Reed Kylie born 2/5/11! stillheart.gif
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#3 of 17 Old 08-03-2010, 11:40 AM
 
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I loved it and thought it was a fantastic film. As a parent of adopted children and a biological one on the way, I identified with Julianne Moore's character and the relationship that evolved with the kids' donor. So many people have taken all of the complexity out of the film by equating it simply to yet another woman cheating on her partner with a man. Her character is a lesbian, and even after she has sex with man, she's still identifies as a lesbian. Sexual orientation is more than just sexual attraction.

The relationship with our donors is very complex and has some intimacy tied to it. Her attraction to the donor was very base and primal. It was through the connection to her kids. He slept with her to access a ready-made family. She slept with him because of a lack in her relationship, but also in the way that he valued her. It's really hard for me to articulate this...there's just something there in that attraction between these two characters that made their transgression so real.

This movie never would have worked if she had slept with another woman or any other man for that matter. It was the fact that she slept with their donor.

I thought the writing was fantastic, the acting was stellar, and the filming was great too. I really, really liked this film. My Wifey, however, did not.

DW and I are moms to two teens (DD 17 and DS 15) adopted through CAS in 2007 and a toddler (DD 2) born at home in March 2011.

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#4 of 17 Old 08-03-2010, 01:54 PM
 
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Good question!
My thoughts have evolved. When I saw it on saturday night I was really unhappy with it. I felt like it exploited every bad lesbian mom stereotype to appeal to mainstream audiences, and i was cringing the entire time to think of my straight family and friends seeing it. I thought a lot of the stuff around the feelings of the kids about having been donor conceived gave dangerous fodder to social conservatives. I hated the racist stuff with the gardener. I stayed up late saturday night reading all the critiques (I will post the links below if you are interested) and getting more and more sad about it.
But since then I have felt a bit better. I had an interesting conversation with my in laws, who are very mainstream, about how great they thought it was to see a queer family looking like every other family, with acting out but ultimately great teenagers and moms who nag their kids to write thank you notes. I was sort of annoyed at my MIL at first - like, "you need to raise your standards - of course there is a mom who nags about writing thank you notes!" - and it brought up feelings about whether or not i WANT my family to be seen as "mainstream", but it was interesting.

perhaps the most interesting thing to me is what the poster above wrote about the significance of the affair having been with the donor, and what that connection is about. we used a known donor, a gay man (we saw the movie together), and this gives me lots to think about.

looking forward to hearing other thoughts,
citygirl (DP is 10.5 weeks along!)

links to critiques that i found interesting:


http://essin-em.com/2010/07/maybe-th...ent-all-right/

http://colorlines.com/archives/2010/..._politics.html

http://bullybloggers.wordpress.com/2...arent-alright/

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate...Savage+&st=cse

Also, just in case you want to get really really angry, you can read this new york post
review of the movie, in which the nasty homophobic reviewer talks about how the movie affirmed all her long held beliefs that queers are disgusting and shouldn't have kids:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/nationa...=true#comments
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#5 of 17 Old 08-05-2010, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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About the lesbian-sleeps-with-a-man thing, I do cringe to imagine what some portion of a mainstream audience will get as the take-home message, but within the context of the movie I think it makes sense because of the strange intimacy of the donor relationship and the fracture lines in the women's relationship. I also think it is sort of brave to acknowledge that there can be, for some women, some fluidity and complexity to desire that doesn't entirely match up with nor negate a more fixed long-term identity. However, I am bisexual--so that is the perspective I'm coming from on that. I really wish there had been some hot sex between the women in the movie, though I think the writers and actors compromised reasonably between showing a sex life in a rut and still making it very clear that they have a sexual relationship.

I still can't decide whether the racism in the movie was perpetuating racial stereotypes or providing a commentary on them... I tend to think a little of both (more the former in the relationship with the gardener, mostly/all the latter in the relationship with the donor's girlfriend).

Trumping everything else for me was how amazing it was to see queer women--queer mothers--on the big screen, well acted and with believable characters. It made me feel weepy actually. Though my life currently looks straighter than theirs at a casual glance, there was something really important to me that I saw mirrored there. Since when does that happen? Also I loved the Annette Bening character and I've always thought she was hot and loved seeing her dressed all butch.

So in summary: agreed with the criticisms somewhat, kind of loved it anyway.
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#6 of 17 Old 08-06-2010, 12:56 AM
 
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I hated the racist stuff with the gardener.
Yup. And with the donor's girlfriend! The conversation between the daughter's friend and the donor's girlfriend was particularly icky. "Is that where you're from?" *shudder*
Thanks for the links!

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I also think it is sort of brave to acknowledge that there can be, for some women, some fluidity and complexity to desire that doesn't entirely match up with nor negate a more fixed long-term identity. However, I am bisexual--so that is the perspective I'm coming from on that. I really wish there had been some hot sex between the women in the movie, though I think the writers and actors compromised reasonably between showing a sex life in a rut and still making it very clear that they have a sexual relationship.
Absolutely. However, from my perspective, it's more like "Why wouldn't she just communicate with her partner more about her feelings, and her possible need for love with others?" But that's probably just my poly talking. Also, it TOTALLY bothered me that there were absolutely NO hot dyke sex scenes, and a whole bunch of hot hetero sex scenes. Ugh.

placenta.gifeat.gif I'm a queer / trans-activist / poly / pagan / (dis)abled  / crazy / crunchy partner to fsonj; we're mamas to our unschooled/freeskooled 10yo, and co-breastfeed our sprightly toddler love.gif born Nov '10! (Ask me about how to supplement at the breast!)

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#7 of 17 Old 08-06-2010, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yup. And with the donor's girlfriend! The conversation between the daughter's friend and the donor's girlfriend was particularly icky. "Is that where you're from?"
I saw that conversation as the authors' subtle pointing out of the racism in the culture. Icky, yes, but I thought probably consciously so in order to make a point.
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#8 of 17 Old 08-06-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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So in summary: agreed with the criticisms somewhat, kind of loved it anyway.
Exactly! I thought it was hilarious, there were some really funny lines, but I also get a lot of the criticisms.

SPBC Finally a Papa! Elise Ember Soleil - 10/3/10 - 4:09 AM - 6 lbs 8 oz My daughter eats donor milk! Human milk for human babies!
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#9 of 17 Old 08-08-2010, 12:41 AM
 
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I mostly liked it. Being in the midst of a marital drama myself, I could relate to a lot of the issues and found the film to be affirming and real in many ways. I especially appreciated Jules' speech at the end about how hard marriage is.

I thought the sex scene between the two women was done really poorly. I think it would have been possible to convey "bad sex/lack of passion/connection" while still remaining accurate. I mean, under the covers? Seriously? It was all wrong. Any lesbians who had been together that long would at least know what to do, even if they weren't doing it very frequently.

The donor aspect of the film wasn't as significant to me because I was so wrapped up in the marriage part. I liked the part about Nic asking him what he did for a living and questioning him about how that didn't match up with what he had said on his "donor info. form." A good reminder about how very young most sperm bank donors are at the time of donation, and how much is really still way up in the air. Otherwise, it all seemed pretty unrealistic. I did notice the lack of mention of donor siblings, which, while totally understandable in the context of the film, is unlikely to be true in a real-life situation. My kids, for instance, have 30+ donor siblings--and those are just the ones we know about! Also: how convenient that the donor lived so close by!

Lena (my wife) and I did talk after the film about what it would be like to meet our kids' donor, if we would want to meet him, what kind of relationship we'd choose for our kids to have with him, etc. It is sometimes crazy to think that he's just out there somewhere, knowing nothing about our kids.

So, yeah, I would recommend seeing it, but I'm not giving it a rave review.

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 4, 5, 7, 8, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#10 of 17 Old 08-13-2010, 07:52 AM
 
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I, too, was annoyed with the affair with the man. Had it been made clear that maybe Jules was bisexual it wouldn't have bothered me as much. But, Jules was gay and that annoyed me. I think the donor issue pointed out in this thread might be valid (I didn't use a donor so I can't really speak to it) but there is no way the movie was profound enough to do that perspective justice and I don't think most straight or gay people watching the film would come away with that.

I really liked the Colorlines review and agree with it. The LGBT movement has A LOT of racial work to do. It's interesting that the reviewer references her friend attending a meeting of the LGBT organizations and reporting how white it was. I recently left my post as a policy director at one of those organizations and I'm pretty sure I was at the meeting she speaks about. A major reason I left the job was because it was absolutely the most racism I have ever experienced in my life. Ever. (And I was an attorney at a super white law firm in NYC not known for racial harmony but I was treated with a great deal more respect there). I've been Black my entire life so I've had plenty of experience with racism but sometimes oppression from other minorities becomes too much, especially when that other minority likes to compare its (and yes I notice the separation I'm making here but it's for a reason) movement to the African American Civil Rights movement but is completely loathe to hire any African Americans in any of their organizations, except maybe to be an organizer for a period of time.

Having said that, I'm mixed about the movie. There were some funny parts but I think I could have waited for it to come out on cable.
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#11 of 17 Old 08-13-2010, 02:49 PM
 
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In the end, I felt saddened by the movie. It displayed so many dysfunctions and maladjustments that I was not able to move past those messages and find the movie funny overall and I went in thinking it was supposed to be comedic. However, I still think it's a good movie. I enjoy films that show us the things we still need to work on as a society and individuals. I think it's good to see these things and get the opportunity to resonate with the characters and look for those issues in ourselves, even if it seems from the outside that we aren't part of the groups being discussed or targeted.

The sex with a man thing just seemed to me to reflect how we make totally out-of-character, untrue-to-ourselves choices when we're going thru periods of self-discovery and opening our eyes to who we really are based on how we've moved thru life. She decided to distract herself with a man instead of doing the work she needed to do. I could totally relate! It wasn't about sexuality, IMO as a person watching the film, it was about making harmful choices from a place of insecurity and a lack of integrity. BTDT

I really felt like this movie could speak to anyone anywhere on their personal development journey.

Yes, yes.  I'm fabulous. loveeyes.gif  Moving on...

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#12 of 17 Old 08-14-2010, 01:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lexbeach View Post
Any lesbians who had been together that long would at least know what to do, even if they weren't doing it very frequently.
Exactly!!

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I, too, was annoyed with the affair with the man. Had it been made clear that maybe Jules was bisexual it wouldn't have bothered me as much.
Sexuality can be fluid. I totally know what you mean about racism in the LGBT community. Another issue is prejudism against children and those who choose to have them. Yay for perpetuating these problems in our communities with a Hollywood movie. Harumph.

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It wasn't about sexuality, IMO as a person watching the film, it was about making harmful choices from a place of insecurity and a lack of integrity. BTDT
Good point!

placenta.gifeat.gif I'm a queer / trans-activist / poly / pagan / (dis)abled  / crazy / crunchy partner to fsonj; we're mamas to our unschooled/freeskooled 10yo, and co-breastfeed our sprightly toddler love.gif born Nov '10! (Ask me about how to supplement at the breast!)

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#13 of 17 Old 08-14-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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I have issues with any movie about infidelity... I feel it is portrayed so often in Hollywood that people start to feel like it is normal to have it happen in marriage at least once or twice, u know?

I thought it was amazingly well-acted... but unfortunately, all the characters annoyed me. I couldn't be friends with any of them in real life except for Joni (the daughter). Nic seemed to be way anal-retentive, Jules way too insecure, Laser was just aggravating. And Paul just drove me up the wall!

So was the movie critically good? Yup. Did I enjoy it? Nope... watching it was like listening to nails on a chalkboard.
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#14 of 17 Old 08-17-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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Sexuality can be fluid. !
I know sexuality is fluid but this concept is still over the head of the masses, many of whom are all too happy to say we are in a phase versus understanding fluidity. I just think it's irresponsible for this director to do this without any other explanation of fluidity. I think I read that the writer/director is gay so this is what really annoys me, that she would make a film the way a straight man would do.
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#15 of 17 Old 08-19-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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Good point! I wish fluid sexuality was more mainstream though.

placenta.gifeat.gif I'm a queer / trans-activist / poly / pagan / (dis)abled  / crazy / crunchy partner to fsonj; we're mamas to our unschooled/freeskooled 10yo, and co-breastfeed our sprightly toddler love.gif born Nov '10! (Ask me about how to supplement at the breast!)

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#16 of 17 Old 08-21-2010, 07:25 AM
 
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The relationship with our donors is very complex and has some intimacy tied to it. Her attraction to the donor was very base and primal. It was through the connection to her kids. He slept with her to access a ready-made family. She slept with him because of a lack in her relationship, but also in the way that he valued her. It's really hard for me to articulate this...there's just something there in that attraction between these two characters that made their transgression so real.

This movie never would have worked if she had slept with another woman or any other man for that matter. It was the fact that she slept with their donor.
Couldn't agree more. I think the problem is that most people do not have donors and do not understand the connection. Did Julianne Moore's character make a bad choice-yes, but its a movie and movies need to go to these places to make them work. That is why people pay to see them!


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The sex with a man thing just seemed to me to reflect how we make totally out-of-character, untrue-to-ourselves choices when we're going thru periods of self-discovery and opening our eyes to who we really are based on how we've moved thru life. She decided to distract herself with a man instead of doing the work she needed to do. I could totally relate! It wasn't about sexuality, IMO as a person watching the film, it was about making harmful choices from a place of insecurity and a lack of integrity. BTDT
Yup-I also see the movie as what happens when you don't nurture your relationship.You do stupid things. But (spoiler here), I also liked that it showed the strength of their relationship. They stay together despite the infidelity and in my imagination they work things through and end up stronger because of it. I did not like that they felt they had to shut the donor out to do this.

I think it's sad that people are making the movie out to be about the lesbian who sleeps with the man. It isn't that-it's the lesbian who sleeps with her donor. I spent a long time working through the feelings I have for our donor. He is a great guy-and I developed feelings that I could have easily mistaken as romantic. Maybe they are romantic-but they are because of gratitude that he contributed to making my son. However most people don't have donors in their lives and therefore they don't get it. I saw Julianne Moore, as just taking the feelings to that extreme place. As another poster stated, it was about her sleeping with the donor, not her sleeping with a man.

Karen, mother to a wonderful active three year old.
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#17 of 17 Old 08-22-2010, 12:32 AM
 
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Maybe they are romantic-but they are because of gratitude that he contributed to making my son. However most people don't have donors in their lives and therefore they don't get it.
seriously. i feel so much LOVE for our donor and i think a lot of it comes from how much i love my daughter. they look alike! also, his decision to donate to us was the most incredible gift anyone has ever given me. i can totally see how someone could confuse these feelings, especially if they were feeling unappreciated.

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