Director: Jason Reitman
Writers: Jason Reitman and Erin Cressida Wilson
Cast: Adam Sandler, Rosemarie DeWitt, Judy Greer, Jennifer Garner, Dean Norris, Ansel Elgort, Kaitlyn Dever, Emma Thompson
Studio: Paramount Pictures
“Men, Women & Children” opens on a couple starting to cheat on each other, a mother invading her daughter’s life and a father/son trying to find a way to connect. Adults don’t know why kids use tech, but they will abuse the tools to get what they want. Nothing is more pathetic to see Adam Sandler steal his kid’s laptop, since he destroyed his laptop with malware from porn sites. As Emma Thompson’s calm narration assures us that nothing here matters, we’re constantly bombarded with images of parents and kids betraying each other’s trust. Parents are turning kids into cam models, kids are losing their favorite things due to parental confusion and the same parents are watching commercials for Ashley Madison with plans to escape.
This film has pinpointed tech obsession in a way that I’d imagine only Todd Solondz would be willing to show. While there’s always been a dedicated base that wants to decry losing touch with humanity, the material goes beyond that. This isn’t about people losing touch, it’s about people finally getting the means to break away. Technology makes it easier to cheat, escape your life and find a way to ditch bothersome adults. The constant clash of personalities is a swirl that is intoxicating to those that want to try and penetrate the confusion.
At their heart, the characters in this film mean well. But, there’s nothing but constant reminders that they are specks living on a tiny blue dot in a giant cosmos. No matter what they do, who they hurt and who they inspire; their lives are nothing but sequences that have been done before. Emma Thompson’s narration is brief, but it emphasizes the point that Carl Sagan made all those many years ago. Humanity is an arrogant creation that wants to believe their actions matter. All we’re doing is kicking up dust on a planet full of people that we’re hurting.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW! (limited release)