Mary the Borderstan Movie Fan’s column on movies runs every two weeks. Mary Burgan is a retired professor of English and association executive. Her previous reviews are listed at the end of this post.
Two of the summer’s best movies turn on the separation involved when a kid goes off to college. In both Toy Story 3 and The Kids Are All Right everything points to the moment when the car starts up, loaded with all the stuff that today’s young people believe they’ll need in their dorm rooms, to take them away from everything they once knew.
You might think that the goodbyes in the animated children’s film, Toy Story 3, would be less emotional than those in the family drama, Kids, but I found myself with very moist eyes when Andy leaves Buzz Lightyear, the Potato Heads, and Jessie the Cowgirl off with a little neighbor girl, has one last play session with her and them, and then totes Woody off to school with him as a mascot. We can never quite “put away the things of a child.”
The wind-down in The Kids Are All Right takes a bit longer than that in Toy Story 3 because that film is more about the parents left behind than about the kid who is leaving the nest. Nic (Annette Benning) and Jules (Julianne Moore), the lesbian co-parents of Joni (Mia Wasikowska), the sensitive daughter who is about to be off to college, “have issues” that have been brought to the fore by their children’s discovery of their sperm-donor, biological father.