Don Jon review

Posted on 18 November 2013
By Rebecca Baker
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In Jon’s life nothing is more important than his family, his church, his boys, his girls and… his porn.

Director Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Don Jon is a comical perspective on the journey of objectification through to intimacy; the struggles of the modern man and his Macbook.

To live up to his nickname of ‘The Don’ Jon has a routine to his lifestyle, especially in picking up girls. But no matter what he is never truly satisfied; blurring his sexual encounters with his desirable world of pornography.

On one of his regular nights out with the boy’s he spots ‘a dime’ at the bar in the shape of Barbara (Scarlett Johansson).

But after his usual technique in scoring, Barbara messes with his routine leaving a confused Jon desperately trying to seek her out.

After finding her on Facebook they start dating. Barbara is Jon’s counterpart, as he defines his masculinity through porn she defines her femininity through Rom-com’s.

Barbara is a traditionalist she wants to settle down and have a family. However by making Jon ‘wait’ she asserts her control over the relationship by tethering him to the expectation in having amazing sex.

Levitt’s screenplay exaggerates sexual desire using these two characters to contrast views on the roles of a relationship. Levitt shows how a control freak can take over someone’s life so much that they start to believe that this is how intimacy works.

Jon narrates his experience in watching porn and the good and the bad points about it, giving details into how a porn addict gets hooked. One night as Barbara discovers him watching his ‘award winning films’ he is forced to go cold turkey.

At his night class forced upon him by Barbara in bettering himself, he stumbles upon Esther (Julianne Moore), a woman who struggles to come to terms with her own tragedy. At first he sees Esther as an intruder into his personal life, especially when she discovers he is a porn addict as he watches it on his phone during class.

Through Esther Jon learns how to ‘Lose your-self in a person’ and how intimacy is truly formed between a man and a woman. Levitt uses her as another counterpart to Jon’s personality. She is the longing he has been looking for in making his fantasies into reality.

All characters in Don Jon are developed for his personal growth in learning how to love. However some characters especially Jon’s Sister Monica seem arbitrary as she finally pipes her opinion in at the end of the film, voicing another feminist opinion on Jon’s relationship.

Don Jon is a humorous and entertaining insight into the single man’s mind and how they rate the most important things in life. Levitt’s screenplay comments on an addiction that may seem mediocre but how watching porn can change perspectives on how to love and the realistic feeling of romance.