14A) Men, Women & Children (TIFF 2014)
Running Time: 119 Minutes
4 stars out of 4.
Canadian Director Jason Reitman's film Men, Women, & Children premiered at this years Toronto International Film Festival as apart of the Special Presentations selection. I was fortunate enough to attend one of the screenings of the film. Over the years, Jason Reitman has quickly become one of my favourite directors after consistently delivering with his simple yet sophisticated, darkly comedic, and thought provoking look, into the world we live in. Reitmans latest film brings together an A-list cast, consisting of The Fault in Our Stars Ansel Elgort, Adam Sandler taking a dramatic role, Jennifer Garner from Reitman's Juno, and Judy Greer. Based on Chad Kutlgen's 2012 novel of the same name, Men, Women, and Children tells the various stories of families living in the suburbs, and how the internet changed their sex lives.
Men, Women, & Children is the most surprising film of the year. I went into the film after hearing nothing but negative buzz about Reitman's latest effort, but I was pleasantly surprised at what a near perfect film this was. Reitman takes you on a 2.5 hour journey with these characters, and drops you right into their lives, without any unnecessary exposition or origins. We meet these various characters, and can instantly relate as this film feel like a mirror image of our society today, and the way technology and the internet have changed our lives, for better or worse. Though this film can be quite depressing, it never feels heavy handed or cliched, and Reitman finds interesting ways to intertwine the stories together, and along with co screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson, have told an occasionally predictable, funny, sweet, and relevant story.
The cast is phenomenal. There are no weak links among the A-list stars (and newcomers). I appreciate how this film focuses more on the teenagers stories(which were more interesting) than the adults. Jennifer Garner, Judy Greer, and Ansel Elgort are the standouts for me, they have developed rich, three dimensional characters, all with there believable flaws, but are relatable. The rest of the cast is also solid, but I will say, that it took me a while to get used to Adam Sandler not playing his typical Adam Sandler character.
My advice when seeing this film, would be not to read too many reviews. Critics are panning this film left, right, and centre, and to me do not seem to appreciate this film, or what Reitman is trying to do/say. Men, Women, & Children reminded me of 2010's The Social Network, in all the best ways, I wish other critics would be less harsh on this film. Its sad to see how this film will lose momentum because of unnecessary critical pans.
This film is a masterpiece.