Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Men, Women, and Children

Men, Women, and Children is a grim, somewhat pretentious morality tale about the dangers of the Internet (2014, really?).

Comprised of several narratives about teens at a suburban high school and their parents, it features a young anorexic whose obsession is partially maintained through pro-anorexia websites; a teen who is so Internet porn addicted that he can't enjoy sex IRL; one whose social life is limited to the online players in a virtual reality game he plays all the time; one who is so focuses on her "modeling" website as a means of pursuing a career as a beautiful celebrity; and finally a girl whose mother will not allow her any online autonomy and tracks all her accounts and logins etc. The adults include the modeling teens "stage" mom, who photographs her daughter's every prurient move; an estranged couple who don't have sex anymore and secretly pursue escort services and Madison Ashley hook-ups; the aforementioned helicopter mom; and others. To make things worse was this somewhat tongue-in-cheek narration by Emma Thompson that was just totally unnecessary and stupid.

The only engaging thing in this whole movie was Judy Greer's performance as the mom obsessed with her kid's career. She gradually begins to realize that she is borderline prostituting her daughter and has a relatively subtle, not over-acted, crisis of conscience and epiphany.

Another thing I kind of enjoyed was the way Men, Women, and Children integrated online and phone activity into the narrative -- if it wasn't done in such an overhanded finger-wagging way, the use of text dialogue and google searches and other web stuff added a dimension to the film that does realistically depict an important aspect of our lives.

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