No words. Literally. There are no spoken words in the first trailer for Jason Reitman’s Men, Women & Children, but that does not stop it from being completely captivating and absorbing. In a day and age when technology is king, the human condition has changed. Real contact and relationships with people has shifted to the much more informal texting and social media sites on the internet. You don’t have to muster the words to tell someone how you feel or what you think. Instead, you can stare at a screen until you summon the perfect words you want to type. Life is so impersonal now and we all know it.
Reitman captures the spirit of being alone while surrounded by people you know. Clicking through our pictures or our social media sites gives us the illusion that we are all doing alright, that we are all happy. However, Reitman is attacking the in-between moments of our perpetual sadness and loneliness. In a way, this is a lot like Spike Jonze’s Her and the disconnect in human interaction, with people who walk in public like drones, glued to their phones, unaware of their direct surroundings.
But in Her, we are set in the future, so we can pretend that we aren’t that disconnected with humanity. We have time until we get to that point, right? Well, Reitman puts his film in the present, which tells us, no, we are pretty much at that point now. Yay.
The trailer mainly focuses on three people: Jennifer Garner, Ansel Elgort, and Adam Sandler. With them, Reitman is hitting three different lives, three different surroundings. But even though they are living different lives, they feel the same loneliness, the same disconnect, the same lack of human contact. Instead of telling people how they feel, they jump to the internet as a way to speak or act out. It’s a new way of dealing with our problems, a way that leads to its own problems.
And let’s sit a little on Sandler, who is stepping back into a prominent dramatic role. He has recently strayed away from roles that require any sort of acting, but he has shown that, when the time comes, he can be called on to act. The last role that saw Sandler play serious, though it isn’t all-the-way serious, was in Judd Apatow’s Funny People in 2009, and let’s not forget how good he is in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love, an actually serious film. For a guy who has recently filled the movie screen with fart gags and toilet humor, Sandler’s acting skills often go unnoticed. It will be a nice change of pace to see him dip his shoes in the acting pool once again.
Men, Women & Children hits theaters in a limited capacity on October 3rd and gets a wider release on October 17th. Bring a friend.