the kids are alright

What a wonderful movie. Dialogue gems that will be immortalized in slang and endless quotations. Fun scenes that will be remembered in many parties to come. How I love a brilliant script! The Kids are Alright is that type of movie that has many points of entry, and strikes a chord, somewhere, somehow and you sink deep in the chair with a smile on your face. OK, it’s a lesbian family; but that’s just tapping into the cultural zeitgeist of gay marriage. It’s one of those movies to drag that someone-who-left–a-scar and didn’t listen to your rubicons and make sure they ‘learn-the-lesson’. See?!? Hear that?!?  They will listen “to the movie”. It’s nonchalant and deep and funny. And oh so very real. The movie talks about the basic things: emotions and vulnerability of family.  But screenwriter and director Lisa Cholodenko bombards it with every weapon in her arsenal. Bravo.

Paul (Mark Ruffalo), the anonymous sperm donor, is a laid-back entrepreneur who gardens. Anette Benning is Nic, uptight, control freak, one of the mothers with the emasculate role.  Julianne Moore is Jules, the sweet passive almost lost cool chick. Paul has no other commitment in his life but the restaurant and is totally cool with meeting his offspring. He is seductive, the kids love him, he loves them, and loves the chick. But ends up a jerk… Not unknown to real life no? Men seem so fearful of their emotions and so ignorant to how real relationships work, that they just screw it up. Always. In this case, Paul had never been in a relationship and feels he is “ready”  to attach himself into a family. Instantly, with two grown kids. Then there’s Nic with so many layers… The family survives because strength comes from within. If it doesn’t survive it was not love.

the kids are not alright

Every now and then my doctor in LA shares little pieces of wisdom with her patients. Recently she showed us an article from The New England Journal of Medicine titled “Hunger and Socioeconomic Disparities in Chronic Disease.”  The number of US households whose members are at risk for hunger because of an inability to afford food (food insecurity) has risen. The rate was 32% in 2008 and is higher each year. In 2008, 21% of US households with children were classified as lacking food security. Because of their inability to afford healthy food, the members of these households had to resort to buying the cheapest calorie-dense products, i.e. food with added sugar, fats and sodium. The authors pointed out that $1 can purchase either 1200 calories of cookies or potato chips or 250 calories of carrots. As a result of these more affordable and abundantly advertised products, the parents and, of course, their children risk obesity, hypertension, diabetes and other diet–sensitive chronic diseases. Confronting food insecurity and making healthful food affordable will help prevent an enormous future burden of disease. The number of children and adults who may be destined to develop chronic disease in the US as a result of an inability to afford appropriate nutrition shames all of us!