Men, Women & Children
Ansel Elgort, Kaitlyn Dever
October 1, 2014
It was only a matter of time before someone, with that someone in this case being "Juno" director Jason Reitman, made a movie about how dangerously connected most of the population is in the world of texting and the internet. Just last year the movie "Disconnect," a highly overlooked film if you ask me, tackled the same topic with much more grit and grace, if you ask me. With "Men, Women & Children," the biggest complaint I have with it right off the bat is that it has too much going on in it. There are several stories going on throughout the movie, with some rarely ever connecting with one another in the way it seems Reitman does. I mean, seriously, why there was a recurring narration by Emma Thompson about a spacecraft baffles me.
The performances in the film, aside from a few, are actually really good. The standouts of the movie are Ansel Elgort from "The Fault in Our Stars," Kaitlyn Dever from "Short Term 12," Dean Norris from "Breaking Bad," and notable funny-man Adam Sandler. These actors are the only ones that save this from being a truly terrible film in my eyes. Jennifer Garner just annoyed me here, but I blame that mostly on the how poorly-written and one dimensional her character is made out to be. The script by Reitman and Erin Cressida Wilson seemed like it was trying to cram so much in that in the end, everything just felt bloated, forced, and even unintentionally hilarious. Seriously, some of the lines here are so awful that they're practically funny.
Had this movie featured about two or three of the narratives rather than the five or six present here, then I think the story would have been more tightly structured. However, if Reitman wanted so bad as to keep all of the stories of practically ever single character in tact, I personally would have expanded the script and improved on the character development and made it a mini-series on HBO or something. "Men, Women & Children" had the potential to be a great movie, but the sad outcome of it all is that this is a two hour drama filled with some great performances, some bad performances, too many stories and characters, and some lines that are actually pretty hilarious considering how they're supposed to be taken so seriously.