Jason Reitman (director of Juno and Up in the Air) has made a new movie that’s going under the radar, I suspect, called Men, Women, and Children. And boy is it Profound. Is it ever Meaningful. Boy, is it ever have its head up its own butt. This is one of the movies that tells a slice of life across five or six different families that says something Profound and meaningful about life in modern America (basically it’s similar to Grand Canyon or Crash). This one’s take is, guess what guys, we are totally addicted to cell phones and social media. It’s like, we are constantly communicating but never really talking. Yeah, that’s like totally deep and stuff.
I’m not saying this theme can’t be done well, but it’s not done well here and it just hammers its on-the-nose obvious metaphors with a twenty-pound hammer. It’s narrated by omniscient voice-over and intercuts the story with the profound image of the Voyager space probe leaving the solar system because, you know what guys? Our lives are pretty small compared to that. Guys? Like, woah.
Now, most of the acting here is really good… the actors just can’t make this script and this direction work… but we have Adam Sandler in completely serious (and bearded) mode, Jennifer Garner, Ansel Elgort, Dean Norris, JK Simmons, and some other good actors doing their best. And there are a couple stories here that are far more interesting than others but even those are predictable and as subtle as a sledgehammer.
Some of these stories and actors save it from being a complete and total wreck… but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t deeply bored and annoyed by the whole thing.