A New Movie Puts the Inner Lives of Smartphones in Sad, Sharp Relief

This is the trailer for Men, Women, and Children, the new movie from Juno director Jason Reitman. It's all about how the internet has irrevocably changed a group of people's interpersonal relationships—and though melodramatic, it doesn't seem terribly far from the truth in its portrayal of gadgets and sadness.

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Screens are everywhere—they're sort of our second brains—but movies have only begun to show them in a not dumb way. Just watching someone text doesn't work, but have the text pop up on the screen? That makes tons of sense. Look at House of Cards, for example. In the first look at Men, Women, and Children, it seems as though Reitman has had to take that idea a little bit further.

It's not a movie where you have people texting and you just need to know what the texts say—it's a film that features the internet as a central character that needs to be developed and styled just like a human character. And at least in the first look at this film, it seems to be the only character with whom other characters have a committed relationship with. The trailer is all we've seen of the movie, but you can judge for yourself when it hits theaters later this year.

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Illustration for article titled A New Movie Puts the Inner Lives of Smartphones in Sad, Sharp Relief
Illustration for article titled A New Movie Puts the Inner Lives of Smartphones in Sad, Sharp Relief

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DISCUSSION

mattmcdougall
Matt McDougall

I don't know. From the trailer, this looks like a depression-fest and I'm already skeptical it's going to have some kind of "the internet's killing our relationships!" preachiness that's going to end in suicide or a school shooting or something.

To me the internet is rather more a mirror of human behavior than a weird isolation/depression machine. Yeah, there's the dark stuff, but there's also cat pictures and memes and in-jokes and the ability to keep up with those you'd otherwise drift completely away from as life sweeps you in different directions. If the movie goes in that route, ultimately, then great. But if it goes into "our lives suck because internet", no thanks.