#TIFF14: “MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Jason Reitman’s sixth feature Men, Women & Children (his second in a row after last year’s Labor Day) revolves around a group of high school students and their parents as they face various struggles in their lives online and off.
Men, Women & Children has a lot of potential to be a great Film, and is a genuine, no-nonsense look at how our lives have changed because of the emphasis on Social Media and the internet. It is a dramatically mature entry into Reitman’s Filmography with very few laughs and more than a few outright shocks. But after the initial set-up, the Film quickly becomes longwinded, with too many characters to follow. While some of their stories are compelling, others could have been easily excised without losing sight of the film’s thesis. I feel like a lot of this ground has been covered before, and while Reitman’s voice continues to be unique, he does not really give us anything new here.
There are no clear leads, but Dean Norris and Ansel Elgort are far and away the best parts of the Film, playing a Father and Son still reeling from the sudden absence of their wife/mother. They really run with their Characters, adding more depth and emotion with each scene. Adam Sandler, in a rare dramatic performance, is really subdued and does incredibly well playing against type. It is a total departure for him, and you would have to look as far back as Punch Drunk Love for a performance this great. Other standouts include Judy Greer, Rosemarie DeWitt and young Actors Kaitlyn Dever and Olivia Crocicchia.
Men, Women & Children screens: Saturday September 6 @ 6pm – Ryerson
Sunday September 7 @ 10am – TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
Saturday September 13 @ 6pm – Ryerson