Friday, September 27, 2013

Don Jon (2013): Review

Today I got to go see a movie that I have been waiting to see since I heard about I being made, the writing and directorial debut of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Don Jon and I absolutely loved it. I was trying not to get my hopes up for this movie but as it had been getting good reviews but I am glad to say it met my expectations.
In Don Jon, Joseph Gordon Levitt plays the title character, a man who is set in his ways and because he is such a ladies man his friends call him a Don.  He is someone who always picks up a girl when they go out and she is always at least an eight.  He is also addicted to pornography and this effects the view he has on sex, as he says in the movie that no sex is as good as porn. He then meets Barbara, played by Scarlett Johansson, a women who he sees as a dime (ten) and that he decides he thinks is so beautiful that he is willing to put in the work to have sex with her, she has her own unrealistic view of love which comes from Hollywood romantic movies and feels that a guy who truly loves his girl would do anything with her.  This movie is very much focused on Jon and his perspective of the world, I don't think there is a single scene in the whole movie that he is not in, so you also get to see how in interacts with his boys, his family, as well as the importance of church, and working out for him.  Basically you get to see a snippet of his life as has strife with a girlfriend and has a chance to come to terms with some of his unrealistic thinking and behavior.
If you go and see this movie, it is very important that you know there is a lot of highly sexual imagery and I mean a lot, and it isn't just sorta put in there for a moment just to have some naked breast on screen, it really focuses on it and the perspective of Jon.  This is introduced from the get go of the movie, so if you are uncomfortable or offended by female sexual imagery, this movie is not for you.  This imagery and some of it isn't just the pornography clips put in to show what Jon is focused on while masturbating, some of it are actually adds and sexually focused main stream media.  Like I said, this is introduced at the very beginning of the movie and is front and center, no hints at it, it is there to be looked at, experienced, and hopefully analyzed about how unrealistic sexuality is part of peoples lives  (I may be over analyzing this but I am a counselor/ therapist).
I really like the dynamic of the characters in this movie, and although there is a lot of sexual imagery, the real heart of the movie is the relationships and interactions between the characters.  I think all of the supporting cast were fantastic,  you have Tony Danza as Jon Sr, Glenne Headly as his mother Angela, you have Julianne Morre as Ester a women he meets at night school, Brie Lawson as his sister, and Rob Brown and Jeremy Luke as his best friends.  They all played their characters well and I especially liked Rob Brown as his friend who really demonstrates that he is there for Jon, and his sister who although she doesn't say much, you can see how she is important and plays into the family dynamic.  My weak link of the cast was Scarlett Johansson, but she is not my favorite actress and although I can get how she is seen as very attractive and sexy but I don't get how she would be the embodiment of a dime, but as Barbara is not suppose to be a character without her own fault and negatives it isn't that bad.
This movie is worth watching if you like rated R comedies/ dramas and can handle the sexual focus, at the heart of it is seems to be about love, family, support, and connecting with other people.  It is important to look at what you are doing and not be completed to do things just to brag about them or because it is how things have always been or how you have always seen them.  If this is JGLs first writing and directorial movie I am looking forward to see what he comes up with next.

My Rating: 3+

On a side note- my little sister was a background actress on this film (apparently they do not call them extras and I was corrected several times on this point) and you can totally see her in several different scenes.  She plays a fellow student at the college class Joe is taking.  The most obvious scene to see her in, is the first scene where JGL and Julianne Moore are talking in the actually classroom. above their heads you will see a female student walk up the steps behind Moore and sit down at a desk, that's my little sister. You can also see her sitting there in the other classroom scenes as well. 

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