I recently saw the film The Kids Are All Right (2010) a film about a lesbian couple, their surrogate children and the impact that the appearance of their father/sperm donor has on all of their lives. Yes, it is about an alternate lifestyle family. And yes, I know all too much about that (see any of my previous posts)…but more than that this is a film about relationships and love. This is a film about how amazing, how difficult, how unlike anything else taking someone into your heart for the long-term is.
Relationships, long-term relationships, are sexy and hot and naughty…AND they are silly and comfortable and profoundly intense. Too often I think we focus on the former of those qualities only to consider the latter to be BORING.
But, it is not boring…it is those very moments of silly selflessness that I relish. When all of the artifice and circumstance present in momentary sexual attraction falls away…you are left with true pleasure. Not the pleasure of merely “getting off” but the pleasure that accompanies the desire to truly be-with someone…and by that I mean to be-with them through the wonderful and happy times as well as the difficult and sad. Once again, I believe, it is that dialectic that directs our true experience of joy in our lives: relationships are hard AND the most amazing experience one may ever have.
The climax of the film depicts Jules (Julianne Moore), after a break in the couples’ relationship, communicating her struggle to her family. It is touchingly real. Not because it is poetic or well-worded but because I think it perfectly captures the essence of loving someone…across years…across experience…across children…across LIFE.
“I need to say something. It’s no big secret your mom and I are in hell right now, and… Bottom line is, marriage is hard. Its really fucking hard. Just two people slogging through the shit, year after year, getting older, changing. Its a fucking marathon, okay? So, sometimes, you know, you’re together so long, that you just… You stop seeing the other person. You just see weird projections of your own junk. Instead of talking to each other, you go off the rails and act grubby and make stupid choices, which is what I did. And I feel sick about it because I love you guys, and I love your mom, and that’s the truth. Sometimes you hurt the ones you love the most. I don’t know why. You know, if I read more Russian novels, then… I just wanted to say how sorry I am for what I did. I hope you’ll forgive me eventually. Thank you. “– The Kids are All Right
THIS…is love…and for all of it’s pain and disorder…it’s mistakes and indulgences…I will take it, because I cannot imagine a life, without it or without YOU.