Men, Women and Children

Rated: R

        As movies go I have a kind of rating system I use, (based on their trailers, before they come to theaters) to decide what I want to see; it goes something like this:  

·        Gotta see it ASAP

·        I’ll see it when it’s out on DVD, digitally etc

·        If it’s on TV, or otherwise free I guess I’d watch it, and finally

·        They’d have to pay ME to see it

I know it’s not very scientific, and I guess it’s not even really a ratings system, but it tends to work for me. The reason it works is that films that I deem “worthy” of the first two categories I add to my movie book (the list I keep of movies I have to see at some point). Movies that end up in the other two categories I don’t write down or try to remember and if I end up seeing them its usually by chance more than anything.  Based on what I saw in the trailers I mentally placed this one in the “if its otherwise free” category. It just didn’t look like anything that would interest me, and I was right.

                Men, Women and Children gives us a glimpse into the lives of four teenagers (2 girls and 2 boys) and their parents as they attempt to navigate life and make their ways through various crises.  And by the end of the movie none of the conflicts and problems depicted are actually resolved. That’s a trend that’s infuriating and definitely needs to stop… soon!

Its supposed to be a kind of examination into how the internet and other technologies have changed parenting and teen-hood, for better or worse. What it ended up being was more of a rehashing of the same old parent-teen issues, which of course means that it’s as predictable as a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with Edward Scissorhands!  It attempts to “stare down social issues such as video game culture, anorexia, infidelity and fame pilfering” but it was packaged in a way that gave it that “Life Time Movie” kind of feel and totally lacked any real depth or heart. Such names as Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Rosemary Dewitt and Dean Norris couldn’t manage pull this stick out of the mud.

                I think that the most disappointing thing about all of this is that the director of Men, Women and Children, Jason Reitman, has done so many other great things. He directed Juno, Thank You for Smoking, Young Adult and Labor Day, among others and even wrote the screenplays for a few of them. With box office sales only managing a measly $700,000 I think it’s safe to say that this thing flopped, big time!

                And so I propose that if somehow you manage to get paid to watch this movie, by all means do it! Otherwise avoid it! There are so many other ways, better ways to spend your time!

Men Women and Children is rated R, was written and directed by Jason Reitman and stars Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Rosemary Dewitt, Judy Greer and Emma Thompson. It will be available on Blu Ray, DVD and digital download on January 13, 2015.