I went through a period in my late teens/early 20s of being angry at romantic comedies and fairy tales like Cinderella. I felt that stories of grand romantic gestures and utterly perfect men rescuing damsels in distress set us up for defeat in our own relationships.
Where is the brooding hunk breaking out into a rendition of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” in front of the entire school? Or the millionaire waving a bouquet of flowers out the moon roof of a white limo? I have yet to see, in real life, the geeky, bespectacled girl who tosses her glasses and lets down her ponytail, only to catch the eye of the most popular boy in school. Have you?
It wasn’t until I met my current boyfriend/partner of fourteen years that I started to figure it out. That we are all flawed and it’s figuring out which flaws are deal-breakers and which ones you can live with, that make relationships work.
It’s the exploration of these deeper themes, in a totally humorous way, that make Don Jon worth seeing. Yes, it’s a movie about a guy addicted to porn but that’s such a watered-down descriptor. It’s really about how the pop culture images that bombard us on a daily basis affect our views on relationships. How skewed our perception has become due to the false realities created in TV and film.
For his directorial/writing debut, Joseph Gordon-Levitt knocked it out of the park. Yes, there is a lot of porn featured in the film, so it’s not appropriate for the kiddos, but he cuts it in such a way that it’s not over-the-top or gratuitous. I’d say the montage at the beginning of Wedding Crashers, filled with nothing but boobs, was more graphic.
As a part of the Cleveland Cinemas member rewards program, Marquee Rewards, I’ve been lucky to see Don Jon twice in advance screenings and I laughed just as hard the second time and loved it just as much.
It’s one of those movies that sparks real conversations. And really, isn’t that the point? If you leave the theater with nothing to say about the film, why bother?
Have any of you seen Don Jon? What are your thoughts on the movie? Did you love Julianne Moore’s character and hate Scarlett Johansson’s, like I did?
Disclosure: I received free passes to the Don Jon screenings as a Cleveland Cinemas Marquee Rewards member but that has nothing to do with this blog.