Jason Reitman is not only the son of legendary director Ivan Reitman, but a lauded director in his own right, especially since the is acclaimed feature debut Thank You for Smoking in 2005 and his breakout hit Juno in 2007. He followed that up with favorites Up in the Air and Young Adult and the underrated Labor Day. Always balancing humor with human nature, Reitman is back with Men, Women and Children.
Men, Women and Children follows several families and their high school teenagers as they all navigate their lives and the way the internet has changed them and how they interact with the world. Don and Helen Truby (Adam Sandler and Rosemarie DeWitt) are bored with their predictable lives and seek out adventure in the form of relationships outside of their marriage through dating and escort sites. Patricia Beltmeyer (Jennifer Garner) channels her fears for her child into technology to monitor every facet of her daughter Brandy’s (Kaitlyn Dever) life, even though she is a good kid with good values. And Tim Mooney (Ansel Elgort) is a football star who doesn’t want to play football anymore much to the chagrin of his former football playing father (Dean Norris). All of these people struggle to find their place in the world and to find happiness amidst the changing society.
Men, Women and Children is definitely a more serious toned movie than Reitman’s other efforts, but the main thread that it does have in common is Reitman’s uncanny ability to craft realistic characters that are easily relatable to the viewing audience. He also manages to assemble an incredible ensemble cast full including what may be the only decent performance by Adam Sandler in years. The other two standouts are Ansel Elgort and Kaitlyn Dever. These two young actors are extraordinary here and I sincerely hope we see much more of them both. Men, Women and Children is an excellent drama about life, relationships and our relationship to technology and how it changes how we interact with each other. Highly recommended.
The Blu-ray from Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment is very nice and a solid transfer of the new drama. Crystal clear picture, great natural color and a solid dialogue driven soundtrack make for a great disc overall of a great drama.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.