At Least You're Trying Jason

Men, Women, & Children (2014)
A Review By Ben Hunter
4 Out Of 5 Stars

GET TO THE POINT BEN!

I loved the relationships, but wouldn’t want to sit through it again for too much longer.

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The young generations of today probably think it’s weird, when a man initially meets a woman, for him to call her right away after receiving her number.  “Why is this guy calling me?  I just met him.”  This has transpired a lot into the older generations who thought nothing was wrong with that … before the smart phone. 

Technology, it has warped our society into a new age of function within such society.  Socially, it’s considered acceptable to text someone your plans for the evening, or all day long in conversation; when before this would be considered rude.  Most people today have smart phones, so the convenience of texting has taken over, making calling a person seem too invested with your energy and your perceptions towards others. 

Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air, Thank You for Smoking), adapts yet another novel, translating it to the big screen and addresses the social issues of technology that we face today in his latest Men, Women, & Children. 

I resonated towards the issues of the parents, the husbands and the wives.  First was with Judy Greer (The Descendants, Love & Other Drugs).  She wanted what was best for her daughter; an aspiring model/actress as they both come to face with the harsh reality of fame hunting and how this social issue can cloud our judgment and tear us apart from what really matters.  I kept thinking, “What values will I instill in my future children?”  Fueled by passion and drive is good, but it can deter one from the correct path.  With personal experience I can attest. 

Don & Helen Truby (Adam Sandler & Rosmarie DeWitt) were my next favorite characters to experience, not witness, experience.  I felt the passion and the love dwindle in their marriage, I felt the desire to want to rekindle the spark but to no avail, I felt the dry, cracking, hard, dirt between my feet that is their love life.  I too wanted make this marriage work, but receiving the feeling as well of knowing when to throw in the towel and maybe explore other options.  Is it too late to put back the pieces after the damage is done?  Should I embark on a different voyage then in the first place?  I was right there, fighting for this marriage as they were.  Tally a point towards the direction of Adam Sandler having more in the acting tank than we thought.

It was something to see the affect of social change on the high school students.  Allison (Elena Kampouris), just wanted a boy to like her and dealt with anorexia due to the influence of the media.  The struggles of the interests of the parties with parents and children, I thought they all were nicely addressed.  However, I wanted a little more resolution with some of the loose ends.  I liked how this story tied in the desire for humanity to reach out to other forces that be, in this universe and the next, but it felt secondary and the fact of just sticking with our main characters would’ve just as much sufficed.  So a resounding connection was necessary to help cohesively address the issues of social change here in my book.  Not to mention it would’ve made better use of Emma Thompson as the narrator as she kind of fades away at some point in the story. 

Could I sit through this again?  Maybe another time, because I resonated with Judy Greer, and liked the transition of her as well as Jennifer Garner’s characters as mothers.  I liked the expansion of talent from Adam Sandler as an actor and his relationship with Rosemarie DeWitt.  But this being my first time I said to myself that I could make it through because it’s just that, the first time; and it’s an ensemble cast so there are a lot of familiar faces to experience the journey with.  But once or twice would be it for me, I’d probably forget about it after that or not even want to re-experience when rethinking of it again in the future on a whim.  Sadly, and once again, pushing Jason Reitman’s career to the back of the line of my interest in today’s filmmakers.  But at least he's trying.  

Men, Women, & Children
Drama/Comedy, 119 Minutes, R
Based on the Novel by: Chad Kultgen
Screenplay by: Jason Reitman and Erin Cressida Wilson
Directed by: Jason Reitman
Cast:  Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Judy Greer, Rosemarie Dewitt, J.K. Simmons, Kaitlyn Dever, Dennis Haysbert, Elena Kampouris, Ansel Elgort, Olivia Crocicchia, Dean Norris, Phil LaMarr, & Emma Thompson

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