Men, Women & Children (film)

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Men, Women & Children
Men Women & Children poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jason Reitman
Produced by Jason Reitman
Helen Estabrook
Jason Blumenfeld
Michael Beugg
Mason Novick
Screenplay by Jason Reitman
Erin Cressida Wilson
Based on Men, Women & Children 
by Chad Kultgen
Starring Rosemarie DeWitt
Jennifer Garner
Judy Greer
Dean Norris
Adam Sandler
Ansel Elgort
Kaitlyn Dever
Narrated by Emma Thompson
Music by Bibio
Cinematography Eric Steelberg
Edited by Dana E. Glauberman
Production
company
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • September 6, 2014 (2014-09-06) (TIFF)
  • October 1, 2014 (2014-10-01) (United States)
Running time 119 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $16 million[2]
Box office $603,688[3]

Men, Women & Children is a 2014 American comedy-drama film directed by Jason Reitman co-written with Erin Cressida Wilson, based on a novel of the same name written by Chad Kultgen. Featuring an ensemble cast, with Rosemarie DeWitt, Jennifer Garner, Judy Greer, Dean Norris, Adam Sandler, Ansel Elgort, and Kaitlyn Dever, the film screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on September 6, 2014.[4]

The film opened in limited release on October 1, and expanded on October 10, and had a wide release on October 17.[5]

Plot[edit]

The Voyager Space Probe flies past the planets in our solar system. The narrator (Emma Thompson) explains that the Voyager has gold records filled with international music, pictures and greetings from Earth.

Don and Helen Truby are a married couple stuck in a rut, their attempts at sex leaving them unsatisfied. Their son Chris is the quarterback of the high school's football team and a porn addict so accustomed to extreme forms of sex that the prospect of normal sex will no longer excite him. Helen seeks an extra-marital affair through the website Ashley Madison, while Don finds an escort service while looking at porn. Chris has been trying to have sex with cheerleader Hannah Clint, but their first attempt ends in failure when Chris cannot maintain an erection. Hannah nevertheless tells everyone at school they had sex to save face. Both Don and Helen continue their extra-marital liaisons until Don discovers Helen's Ashley Madison profile. He follows her to a hotel bar where she is having one of her dates and orders a drink in front of her to let her know about his awareness of her activities. The following morning, Helen comes home to try and explain herself to Don, who is trying to make breakfast for her. Don tells her he has made the same mistakes as she has, and that he would rather make her breakfast than discuss the details of their activities.

In addition to cheerleading, Hannah is an aspiring actress who maintains a website of provocative photoshoots of herself with the help of her mother Joan, a failed actress determined to help her daughter achieve the life she never had. A reality show comes to their local mall to do auditions for aspiring young starlets and Hannah and Joan jump at the opportunity to sign up. Hannah gives them headshots and demo reels of her acting, but Joan receives a call from the show's producers that, despite being impressed with Hannah's material, they will be rejecting her due to the provocative photoshoots she has done, which can draw the wrong kind of attention. Joan decides to delete the website and tells Hannah that they will pursue an acting career through other means. But Hannah, far from being relieved by this, instead becomes upset and runs away.

Allison Doss is one of Hannah's fellow cheerleader, who is on a website that helps with extreme dieting. She becomes attracted to Brandon Lender and has sex with with him one afternoon. Someday later, she collapses on the bathroom floor at school and is rushed to the hospital, where the doctor tells her and her parents that she has had an ectopic pregnancy and that she has suffered a miscarriage due to her malnourishment. She tells Brandon about the incident, who tells her not to tell anyone and asks her to come over to his house after the championship game. She goes over to his house, only to throw a rock through his window and leave.

Tim Mooney is a former football star who had quit the team in the wake of his mother leaving him and his father, Kent Mooney, to go to California with her new boyfriend. Tim has since become a pariah at school and spends most of his time playing an MMORPG named "Guild Wars," while having adopted philosophies of Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot and the insignificance of human life in the universe. Tim comes across photos of her mom getting engaged to her boyfriend on Facebook, but when he tells other users on the game, they make lewd comments toward her. Tim's mom notices him looking at the photos and blocks him from seeing them. Tim gets into a fight at school with another classmate and is sent to a counselor, who prescribes him anti-depressant medication after hearing Tim's feelings about human life. Kent, in the meantime, starts a relationship with Joan, but asks to take it slow after she tells him about what she has done with Hannah. Kent sees the comments on Tim's game about his mom and promptly cancels his game account and the credit card payments, saying he will rejoin the team next year.

Brandy Beltmeyer, a similar outcast to Tim, has all of her online activity tyrannically monitored by her over-protective mother, Patricia, and has a GPS installed in her phone so her mom can spy on her movements. Tim takes an interest in her and they try to start a relationship, which is hindered at first due to Patricia deleting any and all texts sent to Brandy before she can even view them. They keep in touch through a Tumblr account Brandy has hidden from her mother and are able to meet up by having Brandy leave her cell phone at a friend's house. But Patricia eventually discovers Brandy's conversations with Tim and, upon discovering who he is, having learned about him from Kent at an anti-internet seminar she started, steals all of Brandy's internet privileges. Tim, upset over his cancelled game account, attempts to contact Brandy, but the Patricia intercepts his message and posing as Brandy, spits at him to leave her alone. Tim is plunged almost instantly into a state of extreme depression, as a direct result of which he takes most of his anti-depressants and overdoses. Brandy sneaks out and rushes over to his house, where she and Kent find him passed out on the floor. They rush him to the hospital and have him stabilized. Patricia eventually finds Brandy at the hospital with Tim, which sends her into a fit of hysterical tears from the horror of how her actions nearly caused the death of a child. Shaken, and finally realizing she crossed the line, she returns home, removing the GPS tracker from Brandy's computer.

The Voyager is shown one last time taking a picture of Earth from afar as a "pale blue dot."

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

By September 4, 2013, director Jason Reitman was about to add Adam Sandler, Rosemarie DeWitt and Jennifer Garner for the lead roles in his next comedy film.[7] By December 16, Emma Thompson, Judy Greer and Dean Norris were cast.[6] The young cast includes Ansel Elgort, Kaitlyn Dever, Elena Kampouris, Travis Tope, Katherine Hughes, Olivia Crocicchia, and Timothée Chalamet.[8] Other stars are David Denman, Jason Douglas, Dennis Haysbert, Shane Lynch, and J. K. Simmons.[9] Will Peltz also joined the cast of the film on December 17.[10]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography began on December 16, 2013 in and around Austin, Texas,[8][9]

Release[edit]

The film premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on September 6, 2014.[11] The film had a wide release on October 17, 2014, with a limited release on October 1, 2014 and an expanded release October 10, 2014.[12]

Reception[edit]

Box Office[edit]

Men, Women & Children opened in limited release on October 1 2014 in 17 theaters and grossed $48,024 with an average of $2,825 per theater and ranking #48 at the box office. In its wide release in 608 theaters the film grossed $306,367 with an average of $504 per theater and ranking #23, making it the fifth lowest opening in a release of 600 theaters or more.[13] The film has so far earned $603,688, well below its $16 million production budget.[14]

Critical Response[edit]

Men, Women & Children received negative reviews and has a 'rotten' rating of 29% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 96 reviews, with an average score of 4.8 out of 10. The consensus states: "Men, Women & Children is timely, but director Jason Reitman's overbearing approach to its themes blunts the movie's impact."[15] The film also has a score of 37 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 34 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Men, Women & Children (15)". British Board of Film Classification. September 19, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ http://www.thewrap.com/jason-reitmans-men-women-and-children-takes-box-office-bellyflop/
  3. ^ "Men, Women & Children (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Toronto Film Festival Lineup". Variety. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Lee, Ashley (September 18, 2014). "Jennifer Garner Is Way Too Paranoid of Social Media in 'Men, Women & Children' Trailer". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Ford, Rebecca (December 16, 2013). "Jason Reitman's 'Men, Women & Children' Adds Emma Thompson, Judy Greer, Dean Norris". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Toronto: Jason Reitman Lining Up His Next Film". The Hollywood Reporter. September 4, 2013. Retrieved December 19, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Billington, Alex (December 16, 2013). "Jason Reitman's Next Film 'Men, Women & Children' Begins Shooting". FirstShowing.net. Retrieved December 19, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Production Begins on Jason Reitman's Men, Women & Children" (Press release). Paramount Pictures via ComingSoon.net. December 16, 2013. Retrieved December 19, 2013. 
  10. ^ Kroll, Justin (December 17, 2013). "Will Peltz Joins Cast of Jason Reitman’s ‘Men, Women & Children’". Variety. Retrieved December 19, 2013. 
  11. ^ http://www.slashfilm.com/early-buzz-jason-reitmans-men-women-children/
  12. ^ "The Trailer for Jason Reitman's Men, Women & Children". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  13. ^ http://www.thewrap.com/jason-reitmans-men-women-and-children-takes-box-office-bellyflop/
  14. ^ http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=menwomenandchildren.htm
  15. ^ "Men, Women & Children". Rotten Tomatoes (Flixster). Retrieved October 17, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Men, Women & Children". Metacritic (CBS Interactive). Retrieved October 17, 2014. 

External links[edit]