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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Wednesday Movie Night: Don Jon (2013)

Don Jon is one of my favorites from 2013. For Joseph Gordon-Levitt it's a great start to setting up his career also being a writer and director as well. Plus it's shows off more of the range he is capable of as the lead who is a player. The movie though delves into some topics and issues that can be appreciated though. With Shame tackling the topic of sex addiction in general, and in a very dark way, Don Jon aims to mix more of humor in, but also depict the realities of how modern porn has warped Jon's view of sex.

Summary: Jon has his priorities straight in life. He's dedicated to family, friends, church, his car, working out, and also porn. He enjoys porn so much so that he enjoys it to real sex. When Jon meets Barbara though he believes he has found true love, but her romantic expectations about their relationship is making him still struggle to enjoy his sex life. Barbara also has caught him watching porn, and is disgusted. Now he feels he must choose between porn and Barbara, but Esther, a woman at his college class, may help him see otherwise.


Acting: The cast is really filled with stars, and it seems people were wanting to be in Levitt's first movie, and I don't blame them. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Jon, and really the guy is never unlikable even when he is being a jerk. He portrays the growth and hopes of his character very well though, and I believe that most guys will be able to relate. Scarlett Johansson's character is Barbara, and I don't care what people think of Johansson, but I really enjoy her acting. She portrays the Jersey girl very well, and I think provides the realistic female version to the male version. Julianne Moore also stars as Esther, and while Moore seems to be aiming for her typical, odd character of late she still gives her a lot of heart and likability that carries her character far, and makes her a stand in comparison to her other roles. You'll also notice a few other faces like Tony Danza as Jon Sr. and Glenne Headly as Angela, who are Jon's mom and dad.

Filming: The movie is very bright, crisp and clear, and it uses music to keep an upbeat attitude to the overall movie. I enjoyed how the movie looked, and how the colors were popping, and it has a nice indie trademark to the appearance. There is also something about the way that the sexuality is even captured in the movie that is humorous, but it also brings about just the amount of images that Jon has used to represent what he thinks sex should look like. When thinking of it in terms of this is how sex looks to Jon the sexuality is given a purpose, and for those who don't watch porn we're given an idea of just how graphic and unreal the images look.

Plot: Some have accused this movie of having an anti-porn agenda, and while I'm not a fan of porn, I don't believe this movie was anti-porn. What is more so explored is the purpose of porn and really the expectations it has given Jon. This isn't to be used as some sort of movie to get people to stop watching it, but maybe take into consideration why it is they are watching porn? With Jon's case he's watching it because his sex life can't compare to the acted out deeds women are willing to do in pornography, which is mostly true. It also shows the other side of things too, like how women are getting an over the top idea of love from chick flicks. The woman that Jon meets, Barbara, is an example of this.

This may not be the most well-executed movie in the world, but it does what you hope a movie will make you do. It has some tearful moments, some heartache, times that will make you smile, and even feel the romance. It's a nice combination that even gets a laugh. The topic of what Jon is dealing with is mixed well with humor and seriousness that makes this movie worthy of another watch.

Rating 9.5 of 10.


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