After a long run of indie dramedies with varying degrees of quirk-factor, director Jason Reitman made a left turn with the surprisingly somber Labor Day last winter. Despite the presence of talented actors Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet, the film was beloved by neither critics nor audiences. Less than a year later, the director of Juno is back with another film and a shot to restore equilibrium. Notwithstanding the participation of Adam Sandler, though, the trailer for Men, Women, and Children looks as though it will continue the director’s new trajectory into straight-up drama.
Soundtracked by a stark, haunting cover of Donna Summer’s proto-EDM hit “I Feel Love,” the new film seems populated by characters who feel anything but. The film deals with the impact of the Internet–and all its associated connectivity apps–on human relationships. Oversexed, alienated teens roam high school hallways, texting constantly (with their communiques visible to viewers in the trailer) but the adults lead busy, yet empty digital lives as well. Adam Sandler appears to be in Reign On Me-mode, which is definitely preferable to his autopilot Grown Ups acting. He’s joined by Jennifer Garner and a who’s-who of character actors, including Judy Greer, along with teen star Ansel Elgort, who broke out earlier this year in Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars, but still has a name that will take some getting used to.
The studio is continuing the social media theme by asking viewers to share their “thoughts and reactions to the trailer with the Whisper App using #MWC.”
It’s hard to tell that much about Men, Women, and Children so far, beyond its scandalized tone. The tagline is “Discover how little you know about the people you know,” and you definitely know how little you know about the film after you finish watching this trailer.