Film Review – Men, Women and Children (2014)

MWC - post

Title – Men, Women and Children (2014)

Director – Jason Reitman (Juno)

Cast – Adam Sandler, Ansel Elgort, Jennifer Garner, Rosemarie DeWitt, Judy Greer, Kaitlyn Dever, Dean Norris, Emma Thompson

Plot – Looks at how modern day technology affects our everyday lives as a group of high school teenagers and their parents navigate the many pitfalls of what lays at their fingertips.

 “Like it or not, for the moment The Earth is where we make our stand”

Review by Eddie on 08/05/2015

The recipient of an intense critical deriding upon its cinematic release, one time critical darling of a director Jason Reitman must’ve wondered where it all went wrong for him when Men, Women and Children made its way into the big bad world of the movies late last year. From his debut Thank You For Smoking, his overrated yet hugely successful Juno and his charming Up in the Air, Reitman has from the very beginning, been a director whose films seem critic proof even though I for one believe his still yet to produce an outstanding piece of work (and seriously what even was Labor Day?), making the fact that Men, Women and Children was such a solid event even more surprising than it’s critical slamming.

Talked up as a onetime Awards contender (even for ensemble member Adam Sandler!), MWC was released seemingly without any press and to a public that seemed to care little, even though the material here is based on Chad Kultgen’s popular novel. You’d imagine that part of reason MWC failed so terribly at the box office was due to the sword that was thrust through it by the critics and in hindsight now this is actually quite a shame, as this is a movie that may not reach great heights but acts as an affecting and telling reminder about how modern day tech obsessed lives that is displayed in a manner here that for many may be too close to home, in what is an often honest, blunt and raw delving into of the pitfalls that befall many when dangers lurk at their very finger tips.

Reitman does a fantastic job of showcasing how our everyday lives have once and for all been taken over by smartphones, laptops, tablets and any other manner of tech based wizardry and the way in which he embeds scenes with encroaching mouse clicks and internet searches is to be commended. Reitman also finds a way to delve into some seriously dark subject matters without ever over stepping the line into pure darkness and whether dealing with teen pregnancy, marital crises or attempted suicides nothing here feels overplayed or melodramatic even though Emma Thompson’s voice over work can at times feel a little intrusive or on the other end underused. His cast also is on fine form, with particular mention to be made of teen star Ansel Elgort and the increasingly good Kaitlyn Dever as young lovers.

Men, Women and Children isn’t an easy watch and it doesn’t always nail it’s subject completely but when Reitman and his cast get it right this is a drama about our modern day and age that should be a must watch for all those that question the affect technology has had on our lives or those parents that believe their children aren’t at risk of potentially life changing dangers when they connect to any variety of their newfangled gadgets. For an honest look at our day and age, you could do a lot worse than this misunderstood piece.

3 and a half MMPORG playing Hank’s out of 5

11 responses to “Film Review – Men, Women and Children (2014)

  1. Have you watched Disconnect?
    It’s basically this movie, minus Adam Sandler, plus Jason Bateman.
    Granted, the themes both films tackle are weighty and important, so it’s really difficult to stick the landing, after all the storylines are said and done.
    Yet, Disconnect rises whereas this film merely floats by.

    Or We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks.
    The closing narration by Emma Thompson is exactly how that documentary ends, so if you enjoyed what she said (the narration, as you say, is weak), you might try that documentary, as I found it to be one of the most compelling and tragic films I have ever watched.

    • Hey mate cheers for the recommendations – I’ve been meaning to watch We Steal Secrets for quite some time so that is a timely reminder while I must admit disconnect has passed me by or maybe it’s yet to appear here on Aus shores.

      • Oh yes, Assange hails from your shores right?
        Had forgotten about that.
        Disconnect had almost no buzz when it premiered 2 years ago-every frame screams low budget-, yet it features a pretty decent cast.
        I figure somewhere between that and Men, Women and Children lies the perfect movie about humanity’s failures at warmth, care and love.

  2. The parts of it that didn’t work, were messy. But the parts of it that did work, hit so well that I had to give the movie a pass. Nice review Eddie.

  3. Yeah love the review man. I thought this movie was severely underrated and actually ten times better than Reitman’s worst LABOUR DAY

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