Okay, so Lisa Chodolenko’s newest film (and one of the few summer movies that’s gotten positive reviews this summer) didn’t come out yesterday. I’m a little late to the game, but I went and saw The Kids Are All Right last night. I’ll spare you my review of the lesbian moms, sperm-donor dad, unhappy family drama, but there’s one detail that I’m still hung up on: Why are Julianne Moore and Annette Benning’s characters always brushing their teeth together? There are multiple scenes in which the two otherwise sexy women convene in their otherwise beautiful, sprawling bathroom, and in the midst of their psychoanalytic conversations, they’re constantly sticking toothbrushes into their mouths. (Toothbrush scenes are even in the preview, for God’s sake!)
After discussing slightly more pressing concerns over the movie – including: Do all marriages have to suck that badly? – my viewing partner and I got to chatting about their odd co-grooming habits. We both agreed that such practice is the ultimate in un-sexy behavior: We both prefer to brush, pee, shower, and clip our toenails with bathroom door closed, thank-you-very-much. I’m fully aware that there are plenty who’d say I’m being too precious; that I should “get over it.”
Rationally, yes: Bodily functions and grooming are normal, not gross, and if you’re intimate with someone, then you should be able to handle all that other stuff without batting an eyelash. But if I learned anything from The Kids Are All Right, habits like spitting out toothpaste mid-conversation and pulling each others’ hair out of the drain do not a happy marriage make.
What do you think? Should couples share their grooming routines, or is it better to keep up some illusions and privacy in the bathroom?