Jason Reitman's Lonely Planet: Men, Women, and Children

October 16, 2014 4:24 PM

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Every computer-age gadget is deployed to bad effect in Jason Reitman's satiric new movie, Men, Women, and Children, and that's the least of the targets of his scrutiny: how about sex, ambition, and most of all, power, particularly of the parental kind. Let me say, there was not one adult I could admire in this film. In that way, the movie is a fantasy of teen disaffection in perhaps the mode of J. D. Salinger. Forget social media, which as Reitman so aptly put it in the post-screening Q&A with a panel of psychologists and experts including Psychology Today editor-at-large Hara Estroff Marano, is mere "geography." As in the case of all of Reitman's movies, especially Juno, Thank You for Smoking, and Up in the Air, this movie is smart and edgy; its themes will generate much debate.

The parent I disliked most is played by Jennifer Garner, unusually brittle as an overprotective mom to Kaitlyn Dever, a young actor who was one of Variety's actors to watch program at the Hamptons International Film Festival this past weekend. (Dever plays a small but indelible role in Lynn Shelton'...

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