“Oh Jason Reitman. I thoroughly enjoyed Thank You For Smoking. I fell in love with Juno. I supported Up in the Air thru it’s awards run. Young Adult wasn’t my favorite, but I still backed it. Then Labor Day happened. I could forgive it as the inevitable misfire, and Reitman even admitted mistakes were made. Now comes Men, Women and Children. He’s one more bad idea in a row from striking out.
To me, this movie felt like it was about two things: technology dependency and impersonal sex. Both were explored between two disparate age groups: teenagers and their parents. The technology stuff I could get behind. I really liked the images of people’s screens floating Sims style above their heads, seeing text messages and IMs and playlists. The parental interferance with the technology was annoying. Jennifer Garner’s character was grating, constantly going on an anti-technology rant as she cleared her daughter’s Facebook history in an attempt to “”protect her””. Or the way that Dean Norris just didn’t get his son’s (Ansel Elgort)’s MMORPG playing. The divide between the technology use was pretty striking and extremely stereotypical.
While that part was interesting, the storylines that had to do with sex were just awkward and uncomfortable to watch. It wasn’t even about good sex. I don’t think anyone who had it in the film enjoyed themselves. They just felt dirty and/or guilty. So that was fun. (It really wasn’t). Everything here was also minimized to caricature. Some tied back into the technology aspects, some didn’t.
At least the cast was good. Well, they were good actors. They didn’t have much material to work with, but good efforts at least. I want to go on record and say that I rather like serious Adam Sandler. Please make him stop doing dumb comedies. He’s peaked in that genre. Also a fan of Rosemarie DeWitt, although it’d be nice to see her play a happy and contented character for once. This wasn’t it. Judy Greer got a chance to graduate from bit part to ensemble role, so yay for her. One day you’ll get a lead role, and it will be worthy of you, Judy! I believe in you!
Jason Reitman, you’ve been warned. One more clunker, and you’re gonna hafta fight to regain my affection! Thin ice, buddy!
Men, Women, & Children – \m/ \m/”