Director: Jason Reitman
Cast: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Rosemarie DeWitt, Judy Greer, and Dean Norris
Synopsis: This film follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image, and their love lives. The film attempts to stare down social issues such as video game culture, anorexia, infidelity, fame hunting, and the proliferation of illicit material on the internet.
As each character and each relationship is tested, we are shown the variety of roads people choose – some tragic, some hopeful – as it becomes clear that no one is immune to this enormous social change that has come through our phones, our tablets, and our computers.
From the opening credits, Men, Women, & Children attempts to take the audience on a thought provoking journey by touching on a wide range of complicated and generally sensitive topics. The ensemble drama-comedy film, based on the novel of the same name written by Chad Kultgen, aims to stimulate the viewer by primarily focusing on the uses and misuses of modern day technology.
Through each character and storyline, the audience witnesses the varying ways in which the internet, text messaging, smart phones, online gaming, and other social media outlets influence our lives, both positively and negatively, and how they can directly influence one’s self-image and sense of purpose and worth.
Beautifully shot, Men, Women, & Children also touches on other typically avoided social issues, such as marital infidelity, eating disorders, bullying, suicide, and the unintentional consequences of certain extreme parenting styles, all with varying level of success.
While all around well-acted by the entire cast, the film often times employs a too overly somber tone to ram home the cautionary reminder of the slippery slope one must teeter on during our ever changing, and ever dependent technological, modern day lives.
Still, the film does succeed in forcing the audience to take a look at themselves in the mirror and gauge just how influenced by technology they are, and just how out of touch with those around us we may become. The message here is clear: look up. Enjoy life, and all those around us, face to face, heart to heart, without having to text message someone to do so.
Men, Women, & Children opens nationwide on October, 17, 2014.