One of the great contradictions of the Internet age is that the very technologies that allow people to connect in new ways also lead to some powerful forms of disconnection.
That paradox is dramatized to haunting effect in the new teaser trailer for Jason Reitman's upcoming dramedy "Men, Women & Children," which Paramount unveiled Tuesday.
The moody two-minute teaser, which you can watch above, is devoid of dialogue — but its characters have plenty to say. They do so via text messages, emails, blog posts, instant messages, selfies and other digital communiques, which are rendered on-screen with floating pop-up graphics. It's all set to an evocative Plantains cover of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love."
With an ensemble cast including Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Ansel Elgort, Kaitlyn Dever and Judy Greer, "Men, Women & Children" follows the lives of a group of high-schoolers and their parents as they try to navigate the ways the Internet has affected their relationships, communications and self-image.
Reitman, who has plumbed the modern zeitgeist in previous films such as "Juno," "Up in the Air" and "Young Adult," this time tackles social issues including video-game culture, anorexia, infidelity and fame hunting. In addition to directing, Reitman also adapted the "Men, Women & Children" screenplay with Erin Cressida Wilson from Chad Kultgen's novel.
The film will make its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and hit theaters in October.
Though effective in the trailer, pop-up text can be distracting or tiresome in heavy doses, so it will be interesting to see how Reitman — and, increasingly, Hollywood at large — handles the challenge of depicting an increasingly wired world.
In a thematically appropriate bit of viral marketing, Paramount is also encouraging film fans to discuss their reactions to the "MWC" trailer on Whisper, an app that allows users to anonymously share their thoughts, feelings and secrets with others.
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