Not since “Annie Hall” has a film about one couple’s relationship been so brutally honest about dating in the modern world.
However, “Don Jon” doesn’t portray a caricature of a bubbling Jewish man, which makes writer/director/star Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Jon much more relatable. Also, much like modern culture, “Don Jon” is much more (porno)graphic.
The film is absolutely brilliant exploring the different mediums that skew people’s perspectives, causing them to objectify the people in their lives and the relationships they have with those people.
Jon is a typical 20-something that only cares about a select few things in life, his pad, his body, girls, church, and porn. He really cares about porn.
But, don’t let that last interest of his turn you off from the film. Despite some of the graphic nature, Gordon-Levitt seriously addresses a very important issue in modern dating that is rarely addressed in mainstream films: internet porn addiction.
He gives audiences an uncensored look into how one medium, which has made a major leap from a closeted taboo to mainstream conversation, can completely distort what is expected from relationships.
Porn is about objectifying. It’s about looking at another person as if he or she is a thing; but porn isn’t the only culprit.
As Jon’s girlfriend Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) shows us, romantic comedies are to blame as well.
The first date the two go on is a clichéd trip to the movies, in which she picks the flick, of course. Gordon-Levitt’s comedic charm shines in this scene as he takes us through a summed-up version of every lame romantic comedy most guys have been dragged to see, at least once.
And, so begins their courtship.
However, the film’s triumph is not in the examination of the modern couple’s relationship, but that it starts a conversation after the credits have ended.
It gives the audience a chance to step back, examine, and ask, “what’s my porn?”