Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Internet Is For Scorn (Movie Review: Men, Women, And Childen)

About a couple of minutes into "Men, Women, And Children," I see in the opening credits that this movie was based on a book by Chad Kultgen, whose books always interest me, even though sometimes those books disgust me (I actually thought I had read this book but realized I have not) Jason Reitman directed this movie, and I think he is one of this generation's most interesting directors, as his movies always say something. In this movie, he captures how we, as a generation, have becoem zombies attached to our smartphones, and how that translates into how we behave, misbehave, and connect with other human beings. Several stories of teenagers and their parents are interwoven - Don (Adam Sandler) and his son (Travis Trope) are both obsessed with internet porn, to the point that for they have distorted views of reality. Rosemarie Dewitt plays his bored wife who goes on a cheating website to connect with another man. It is nice to see Sandler toned down, and he displays enough pathos to be sympathetic. Jennifer Garner is brilliant as a mom who monitors her daughter's every single step online, and Judy Greer is fantastic as well as a mom who caters to her daughter's narcissistic whims. When these all backfire on them, your heart is broken. Ansel Elgort plays a depressive son who gets his kicks from online role playing games. There isn't a bad performance in this ensemble that even when the screenplay gets preachy, you go with the flow. About halfway through the movie, the stories become tiresome and exhausting, but you trust the actors enough that ultimately they win me over. I admit the characters stayed with me after, and made me think.. They may not be the most likeable bunch, but they certainly feel real, and in the end you will not be able to help empathizing.

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