The Fault is in the Internet, Not the Stars
By Skip Sheffield
Everyone is messed up in “Men, Women and Children.”
That’s all you need to know about this latest offering from Jason Reitman, who brought us the superior “Juno” and “Up in the Air.”
Yes, everyone is messed up, and it’s the fault of the Internet. That’s the short version of the novel by Chad Kultgen, on which the screenplay is based.
We follow a representative group of Texas high school students and their parents as they navigate the perils of the Internet age.
It’s not exactly news that most teenagers keep their eyes trained on handheld devices, and that they would rather text than talk.
I feel like an old fart because I do not have an Iphone and I refuse to text, but there are some people my age who don’t even have a computer.
Don Truby (Adam Sandler in a relatively straight role) and his wife Helen (Rosemarie DeWitt) are plugged in and turned on, but not to each other. That’s where the trouble begins.
Patricia Beltmeyer (Jennifer Garner frumped up with glasses and a severe hairdo) is an uptight control freak who insists on knowing where her daughter Brandy (Kaitlyn Dever) is every minute of the day. You know the type, and it rarely turns out well
Kent Mooney (Dean Norris) is a recently-divorced, basically decent guy who is clueless as to how to get back into dating or how to deal with his teenage son Tim (Ansel Elgort, of “The Fault in Our Stars”), who is falling for a nice girl named Allison (Elena Kampouris).
Then there is Brooke (Katherine C. Hughes), a beautiful girl whose mom Donna (Judy Greer) wants her to succeed in show business so badly she is almost like her pimp.
Well it goes on; video game addiction, porn on the Internet, the dangers of chat rooms, anorexia, infidelity, inability to appreciate the simple, natural things in life. “Men, Women and Children” has its merits, a few laughs and some somber moments, but mostly it is things we already know, acted out by good-looking people.