Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Movie Review : Don Jon

Porn. 24/7 whether visual or just thinking about watching it. That is what Jon ( Joseph Gordon-Levitt ) does everyday of his bachelor life. He does have other loves such as his family, his car, his friends but the visual stimulation of porn is his one true love. Jon is a bartender and uses that position to his advantage to take women home for one night stands but he his not fulfilled as he prefers watching it on the screen. The screen women offer and do more than what actual flesh and blood will do for him or so that is what he believes.

One night he meets Barbara Sugaman ( Scarlett Johansson ) at a club and he tries to pull his usual charm but is not able to close the deal and goes home alone. He finds out about her via the Internet and invites her to lunch for a meet and greet where they size each other up. The animal attraction plays out over numerous dates with Jon catering to her wants with him even going back to school to better himself in her eyes. All is well until she finds him one night attending to himself while watching porn on his laptop. To say she was upset is an understatement.

Even though Jon is "happy" to be with her and his family is beyond ecstatic that he might have found his "true" love he feels empty inside. While at school he becomes friends with a fellow and older classmate named Esther ( Julianne Moore ) who while mentally fragile offers a different type of friendship and helps him see another side to "love" and her reasoning for his love of porn. A yang to Barbara's ying.

As the film reaches its climax Jon figures out what women and love can give him and what porn does and does not. Barbara shows how her "love" can be destructive while Esther shows an option of a different love that Jon is not accustomed to. In the end he must decide which is more fulfilling to him.

Verdict : This is Joseph's first time out as a director and he tackles an uneasy topic to make a movie about. Porn, while more in our face than ever is still taboo for a wide release, major studio production. I enjoyed the non-typical popcorn flick as we see how women view certain types of love such as porn, meaningless sex and tragedy. Joseph as an actor does a fine job as Don Jon and though Scarlett fills her role as the sexpot to perfection her accent is a little off putting. The supporting characters are well cast with Jon's parents and especially his father Jon Sr. ( Tony Danza ) standing out amongst them. This is fun escape from the usual smash em up, kill em and car chasing films that litter the theaters. A THUMBS UP for me but unless you need to go the theater to watch this you can just wait for the home viewing as the big screen does not add anything special. The story and the characters are the selling point for this flick not special effects.

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