Does Jason Reitman hate texting? From the looks of the first trailer for his Men, Women & Children, that definitely seems to be the case. Reitman’s latest is all about the secrets we keep online and that threaten to leak into the real world — which makes it kind of weird that the film’s marketing is encouraging fans to use the Whisper app to share their secrets, because that sure seems like something that’s pushing precisely what the film is against — with everyone constantly staring at their phones and looking shocked. Not a fan of films that use cute graphics to share texts, emails and pix on the big screen? Oh, you’re going to hate this one.
Reitman’s film centers on a loosely connected group of students and their families, though it appears that they are all linked by their mutual sadness and disconnection. Put down your phones. Start living your lives. The Internet is bad. You are watching this trailer on the Internet, which is weird, right? Hmm. Watch the first trailer for Men, Women & Children after the break. You can probably do it on your phone.
Let’s make some connections! It appears that Rosemarie DeWitt and Adam Sandler star as an unhappy and sexually frustrated married couple, while Ansel Elgort and Kaitlyn Dever are some sad high schoolers, Olivia Crocicchia is uncomfortable in her own skin, Jennifer Garner is maybe texting Elgort about being sad and then there are just a ton of other, ancillary sad high schoolers. Everyone is sad. The Internet is terrible and texting is horrible and we should probably burn down Tumblr.
Listen, high school is tough for everyone. And so is adulthood. Life is tough. Texting is not the enemy. Loneliness and keeping pain to yourself is the enemy. Reitman well knows this, and while the plot of Men, Women & Children certainly seems overwrought and done to death (how pissed do you think Reitman was when he heard about Disconnect? so pissed, right?), this is familiar territory for him. The language of loneliness is how Reitman tells his stories, from Young Adult to Up in the Air to Juno, and using devices to push that forward in Men, Women & Children is, well, just another device.
At the very least, Reitman has a hell of a cast to use in service to his film – CREEPY ADAM SANDLER, Y’ALL — and we can only hope that he uses his very “modern” idea to tell another classic story about the human condition. After all, it would be a shame if we had to watch all those text bubbles for nothing.
Men, Women & Children will debut at next month’s Toronto International Film Festival, with a limited release following on October 3rd and expansion on October 17th.