By William Wolf


In this age of smartphones and internet porn, youngsters and adults are bound to get into trouble one way or another, and Jason Reitman has explored consequences in assorted family situations in a Texas town. “Men, Women & Children,” showcased at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and now in commercial release, has been written by Reitman and Erin Cressida Wilson based on the novel by Chad Kultgen, and the results are not pretty. Various characters must pay prices for indulgences, and some need forgiveness.

In the adult category, Adam Sandler as Don finds a site that yields him sex for money. Helen (Rosemarie DeWitt), his wife, finds her own way to infidelity. Donna, portrayed by Judy Greer, is an overbearing mother who wants her cheerleader daughter Hannah (Olivia Crocicchia) to be accepted in a talent search and crassly sends erotic pictures of Hannah on line in a big misfire.

Teenager Brandy (Kaitlyn Dever) is carrying on a romance with Tim (Ansel Elgort). Her controlling mom Patricia (Jennifer Garner), under the guise of being protective, is courting disaster by monitoring Brandy’s communications.

You get the idea. Such portraits of the aforementioned and others combining today’s technology with human tendencies to succumb to temptations in the quest for pleasure, companionship or just plain sex are juxtaposed in the very cluttered film.

The result may leave you with fascination or a sour taste, depending on how you regard the characters and the film’s view of them. A Paramount Pictures release. Reviewed October 2, 2014.


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