Adam Sandler plays an apathetic middle-aged man, who’s living in a sexless marriage and is spending his spare time, masturbating to Internet porn. After a failed attempt to connect to his wife, he finds an escort service. His wife, played by Rosemarie DeWitt, wants to feel again the pleasure of having sex but she’s looking for it on dating websites. Their son, a high school football player, takes after his father. His only knowledge of sexuality comes from Internet porn, affecting his relationships with real girls.
Tim Mooney, played by Ansel Elgort (best known for The Fault in our Stars) quits the football team after his mother left him and his father, for another man. He spends his time outside school hours playing a MMORPG and thinks that nothing really matters in the great scheme of things. His father, played by Dean Norris (Hank from Breaking Bad), tries to help him deal with the real world and he also starts dating a woman he met in a neighbor meeting, the mother of an aspiring 15 year old actress, Hannah.
Hannah wants to be famous and has a website with inappropriate pictures taken by her mother. She also wants to loses her virginity to the football player with sexual problems due to excessive porn. One of her best friends suffers from anorexia. She lost weight during the summer and frequently checks in on “prettybitchesdonteat.com” asking for help to stay away from food.
The last story is of Brady Beltmeyer, whose online activity is frequently checked and erased by her over protective mother, Patricia (Jennifer Garner). She finds solace in her friendship with Tim Mooney, the depressed and lonely guy.
The range of well developed characters makes it easy for the viewer to relate to some of them, especially when their stories are uncomfortably accurate to this day and age. It’s easy to hate Patricia for her misguided conception that if you delete your daughter conversations and you check her online activity, you protect her from the evilness that exists in the world. Or to question Hannah’s mother parenting. Or to know how Tim Mooney is feeling while he plays for hours on his computer. Or to wonder how a couple who wants the same thing, goes searching for it somewhere else.
Narrated by the magical voice of Emma Thompson, we discover that there’s nothing new in this movie. Nothing that we haven’t seen, read, or heard before. There’s no groundbreaking story or character or even sound. And yet, somehow, it left me questioning my online addiction and my own identity. Am I the same person as I was before Facebook? Do I think as before? Do I feel as before? Am I real on the Internet, or I’ve developed a persona? Do I really need the Internet?
If you’re not prone to depressive moods, you should see this movie. Otherwise, wait for s sunny day, when nothing can bring you down.