Cert: 15 Runtime: 119 mins Director: Jason Reitman Cast: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Kaitlyn Dever, Ansel Egort, Olivia Crocicchia, Judy Greer, J.K Simmons, Dean Norris and Emma Thompson
Discover how little you know, about the people you know
Jason Reitman and Men, Women & Children have had a torrid time with critics and the public this year. Ever since TIFF’s premier it has been cursed ever since. For me you should never listen to critics or cinephiles, cinema is what you make of it. You should always try to find a positive in any film, and appreciate what these people have created. So what is Men, Women & Children about? A provocative drama about the ways in which the internet has changed our relationships. A couple trapped in a loveless marriage separately seek romance online. A teenage girl finds encouragement for her anorexia on the web. A boy becomes emotionally numbed by the explicit images he views every day. Smartphones, tablets and computers have changed our lives irrevocably in this modern, connected world but is it for the better?
Men, Women & Children isn’t that bad. I will start with the bad, the outright flaw of Men Women and Children is the substance. Each of the stories involve characters that are so one dimensioned and undeveloped that the message of the film is so hard to be developed through the content that adds up to absolutely nothing. Any possible twist or turn that the film takes is so predictable and played safe that the only value of shock is delivered by a teen boy surfing through his world of porn on his computer and uncomfortable sex scenes that are downright laughable. Absolutely none of these things add up to a big picture that is something anything short of overdone and depth less. Jason Reitman did his best with the film, but I believe the project has swallowed him a bit. The context is there and the story, but he couldn’t really cross the message subliminally enough. The tale of our modern society, and the darker side of our civilization is laid bare in front of us. It should of been more subtle in my opinion.
All of the actors did a proficient job. Adam Sandler was excellent, in his first straight drama role since Reign Over Me or Funny People, if you’d count that. Ansel Elgort and Kaitlyn Dever had both breakout performances. Each of their characters plights will your break your heart, and leave you rooting for them. And most of all, Jennifer Garner was rather annoying in my eyes, but that was the nature of her character. Olivia Croicchia and Judy Greer worked well together, I did enjoy their tale the most to be honest. It was rather twisted but enlightening.The soundtrack was very captivating also, I think I may download it. Each song worked very well. I did also like the filter on the lens, in some shots the transition to the darker side of the tale was helped by this. Men, Women & Children may not be a masterpiece but it’s worth a watch. The issues the characters go through are very real. This is what makes it an interesting portrait of our society today.