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As each character and each relationship is tested, we are shown the variety of roads people choose - some tragic, some hopeful - as it becomes clear that no one is immune to this enormous social change that has come through our phones, our tablets, and our computers.Director Jason Reitman felt so much of the acting in the film was so based on reactions to texts, chats, and photos that using dummy screens with no text would not suffice.It doesn't help that she's enabled by her mom, Donna (Judy Greer), a failed actress who constantly snaps photos of her daughter for a "modeling" website that happens to include a private section reserved for paying members.Hannah has a thing for Chris (Travis Tope), Don's football player son whose own internet porn habits would not only put his dad's to shame, but have also left him unable to become aroused by anything but the images on his monitor."Pretty bitches never eat." At the opposite end of the spectrum is Patricia (Jennifer Garner), a suburban parent who redefines the term "overprotecrive" as she demands that daughter Brandy (Kaitlyn Dever) surrender her cell phone on a regular basis so that she can read her emails and text messages, in addition to poring over pages of chat logs and using a GPS locator app to monitor her daughter's movements whenever she leaves the house.Patricia is convinced that she's keeping Brandy safely out of harm's way, yet remains oblivious to the fact that she's stifling any chance of her having a normal teenage existence.He's much more content to form connections with other like-minded individuals in a virtual world, while growing increasingly distant from his father (Dean Norris), who continues to cope with the sudden departure of Tim's mother the previous year.
It's unapologetically reminiscent of Crash, which admittedly pulled off the same trick in a much more organic fashion that was far more believable.
But that's not to say that Men, Women and Children doesn't feel authentic.