“The Kids Are All Right” Owes a Nod to The Who

As the indie-hit "The Kids Are All Right" rolls out across the country, there have been documented cases of folks confusing it with the iconic 1979 rockumentary by England's The Who.

There are some major differences. The rockumentary was actually "The Kids Are Alright" (missing one L) and didn't even mention the term "sperm donor." We could go on.

But one can understand the confusion. In fact, when PopcornBiz asked co-writer and director Lisa Cholodenko about the title similarities, she admitted she took some inspiration from the rockers.

"We kind of lifted it," she said. "It was a working title and it just kind of stuck. The more we wrote the film, the more it felt resonant."

Cholodenko even refers to older folks as kids, and the need for them to heal after hurtful events became all the more clear. The audience knows that everyone ends up in a different level of "all right" by the movie's conclusion.

"In the end I felt they are all kids," she said. "And in the end, I felt like, the kids are all right."

So there you have it. And while you have a true leather-jacket wearing rock stud in Mark Ruffalo and Annette Bening singing Joni Mitchell at the dinner table, you don't hear any Who song -- or even the fitting title track, "The Kids Are Alright." Too obvious.

"I didn't want to make it an overt homage," says Cholodenko. "When I think it out, the irony of the focus of that film and our film was kind of fun. But there's not so much a tie in."

We might disagree with Cholodenko there. Especially given Julianne Moore's use of rock concert t-shirts, and the key refrain, it would have been a great way to see the great movie out. But no doubt, cost would have weighed in as well. So better to just give a tip of the hat to the British rockers.

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