‘Don Jon’ serves up comedy and critique of film culture
By KATIE REDMILES
Child star turned director, writer and mainstream actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, shocks and awes audiences across the country with his new movie, “Don Jon.”
Initially judged for its explicit material and controversial messages, “Don Jon” exposes the inner workings of a man addicted to pornography.
The movie is meant to be a satirical critique on the American society’s obsession and delusion with different types of romance. The main character, Jon (Gordon-Levitt), is so hooked on porn that he comes to the realization that he enjoys masturbating to Internet porn more than actual sex. As a result, the porn leads him to have unrealistic views of how sex should be and how real women look and behave.
He then meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), who also has an unrealistic view of how relationships should be because of her addiction to romantic movies. For her, however, the unrealistic standards arise from fairytales, romantic comedies and other Hollywood couples that culture gravitates toward.
Though the movie does contain many graphic clips of pornography and explicit sex scenes, the morals and messages of the film are completely serious and truthful.
The film is a meta-film of sorts, as it exposes the fallacies and dangers that the film industry, whether it be adult or Hollywood, creates by over-simplifying and over-idealizing regular human beings.
Jon, a New Jersey native and machismo oriented young male, goes through a deep transformation after meeting the dysfunctional and wise Ester (Julianne Moore).
Moore’s character brings reality to Jon’s life, helping him evaluate why past relationships have not worked, and how he can grow to truly experience what it means to be close and intimate with another person.
Filled with wit, sarcasm and profound underlying themes, “Don Jon” will leave audiences walking out of the movie theater wondering what hit them, and why they cannot look at the world around them the same way anymore.
The film proves that Joseph Gordon-Levitt possesses the power to change societal norms with his creativity and film making ability.