Tonight, I saw Men, Women and Children.
If you haven’t heard of it, you have not been under a rock. The movie premiered at a film festival, came out in limited release earlier this month and has finally achieved a nation-wide release. Even still, it has not gotten very much publicity. I heard about it during the preview of another movie. It promised some vague insight into how technology is changing our close relationships, and causing you to know very little about those closest to you. I was intrigued. Beyond the story line, the movie also has some great actors, including ben Affleck, Judy Greer and Jennifer Garner.
My review can be summed up in 3 words: I loved it. I think everyone with a smartphone should see it. It was unlike any other move I have ever seen. The pace is a little slow and it has multiple story lines. But I highly recommend it if you are open to a unique story format and open to a movie that will make you think. For me, it made me think specifically about social media in my own life.
The teenagers in the movie (without giving too much away) basically live their lives online. They are dealing with the same problems most some of us dealt with in high school: body image issues, dysfunctional families, popularity contests and the confusion that is love when you are so young. However, instead of dealing with these problems in the real world that created them, they turn to social media, message boards and online games. They use the digital world as a reference for how to act in real life, and as you will see if you see the film, it causes them even more heartache and disappointment.
This message was very timely for me. All of my friends are undergoing major changes in their lives – we are just at that age where change is the norm. It seems like everyday, someone is moving across the country, getting a new job, entering grad school or getting engaged. Outside of my small circle of friends, I see all of this play out on social media. So many great things are happening for people, some people seemingly all the time. When you couple that with the fact that I still feel unsure about where my life is headed, surfing Twitter or Facebook can be a little self-defeating. But this movie reminded me that everyone goes through their own struggles. It reminded me that the digital world is merely a veil over over the real world, and our real lives. I wish I could add filters to ugly situations, delete mistakes and always only put the best me out there. And on social media I can. But in the real world I can’t. And spending my free time aimlessly scrolling through other people’s veiled lives makes it hard for me to appreciate my successes and stay hopeful for the future.
I hope the movie is as throughout provoking for you as it is for me! If you see it, let me know what you think.