Men, Women & Children is Jason Reitman's second film to come out this year, and his most hated film yet. This marks his sixth feature film and while the first four have all been critically acclaimed, his latest two films haven't been as praised. While there were a few who found his last film, Labor Day, to simply be okay, I found it dull and uninteresting. Now we have Men, Women & Children and the general consensus seems to be that it's pretty dull, despite having some damn awesome trailers. To be honest, I enjoyed it. It's flawed for sure, and these flaws I will delve into soon, but it's an honest, relatable and powerful movie that's more than worthy of slotting into Jason Reitman's (mostly) brilliant filmography.
Men, Women & Children has a lot to say about everyone, but it unfortunately only gets some of this across. While Jason Reitman clearly wants to tell us something, and he does point out a lot, he's never given a chance to win us over with his issues about society. His makes them notable, but he fails to do anything beyond that. I'm not having a go at his directing, nor his writing, but just the lack of solution. He lets us know what's wrong with the world in an entertaining and occasionally funny way, even if it's not nearly as funny as some of his other works. Reitman wants to talk, but when given the stage he's lost for words.
With so many stories to tell, the two hour runtime isn't nearly enough time to successfully wrap them all up. I'm not saying I wanted this film to be any longer than it was, but instead I'm saying that the film feels a little bloated. Like I said, he's trying to tell us something, but he just can't. This is, in part, because of how many stories he's telling. He's attempting to cover so much ground that when it's time to come up with a conclusion, they're underwhelming. Some are satisfying, although these are the ones with more screen time dedicated to them. The rest, such as the malnutrition story, just end rather dissatisfying.
To sum up, I may have sounded fairly harsh, but I did actually enjoy Men, Women & Children. It's flawed, but it's fun. It's a social commentary done right, even if the narration is out of place, the endings are underwhelming and the stories are predictable.