Your mom and I are in hell right now and the bottom line is marriage is hard. It’s really fuckin’ hard. It’s just two people slogging through the shit, year after year, getting older, changing — fucking marathon, okay? So sometimes, you know, you’re together so long 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 your mom, and that’s the truth. And sometimes you hurt the ones you love the most, and I don’t know why. You know, if I read more Russian novels… Anyway… I just wanted to say how sorry I am for what I did. I hope you’ll forgive me eventually. Thank you.
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What you’ve just read is a transcript of Julianne Moore’s beautiful speech about marriage — or, rather, the beautiful speech about marriage that Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg wrote for Moore’s character Jules to give to her wife and two children — in “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features, 7/9, trailer), one of this year’s leading awards contenders. In theaters, one can hear the sound of a pin drop as Moore delivers these lines. Later this year, it will undoubtedly be played over and over again to introduce her as a nominee at awards ceremonies. And, come Oscar time, it might well join the list (scroll down) of movie speeches that can be credited for almost single-handedly securing an acting nomination or win.
What makes this speech click, like most of those others, is this: it articulates some “greater truth” that applies not only to the characters in the film, but universally. Moore doesn’t say “the bottom line is gay marriage is hard,” but rather “the bottom line is marriage is hard,” and her description of it is something that rings true for any couple that’s been together for a long time — gay, straight, or otherwise. (Just listen to the murmured conversation in theaters after the scene ends.)
Interestingly, a March 2009 version of the script — a copy of which I have obtained — called for a speech that differs markedly from the one that made the final cut. Here is what was to be said:
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