The Internet has changed our lives. This movie explores the many ways it has infiltrated our society, particularly that of teenagers, and their parents' bewildered response. This R-rated (for VERY graphic dialogue) outing is directed by Jason Reitman ("Juno," "Up in the Air," and "Thank You for Smoking") from a script he co-wrote with Erin Cressida Wilson based on Chad Kultgen's novel by the same name.
It is shocking to my generation to see how "wired" modern life has become, and it is even MORE shocking to peek at someone else's correspondence. We are exposed to snippets of pornography, anorexia, chat rooms, texting, sexting, on-line bullying, extramarital adventures and the pain of awkward teenage dating.
Here is a small part of this highly capable cast:
- Adam Sandler ("Grown Ups") is Don Truby, a father who has his own skill set for on-line contacts. He isn't above looking at his son's computer usage...and then his wife's... Oops!
- Rosemarie DeWitt ("Kill the Messenger") His wife Helen, is branching out for no good reason except possibly boredom.
- Jennifer Garner ("Draft Day") Patricia has mastered on-line skills so she can keep track of her daughter's life. There isn't a keystroke or a digital signal that she hasn't compulsively followed. This is a control freak run amok and we pity her poor daughter!
- Kaitlyn Dever ("Short Term 12") is Brandy; her mother has quickly learned the ropes of on-line networking and the girl has NO privacy.
- Dennis Haysbert ("Think Like a Man Too") is secretluvur, a chat room identity, who shows up right where he's supposed to.
- Judy Greer ("Descendents") Donna Clint is developing a new hobby...smile... Problem is, her daughter is underage and she might be breaking the law.
- Olivia Crocicchia ("Rescue Me") is Hannah Clint, the vain cheerleader who aspires to be on a television reality show.
- Ansel Elgort ("The Fault in Our Stars") Tim doesn't want to play football this year, which makes him persona non grata at school. He is a fan of Carl Sagan which leads to a big misunderstanding with the school counselor.
- Emma Thompson ("Saving Mr. Banks") as the narrator. Her job is to try to bridge the outer space/Carl Sagan aspect of this film with the personal trials and tribulations of teenagers and their parents.
I'm running out of space and haven't covered all of the fine performers. Each individual has his or her moment to shine and there isn't a weak performance. Bottom line, these are all good kids. The parents are trying too, it's just very complicated in today's digital world.