Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Movie Review - Don Jon!

Happy Wednesday!

Time for a movie review!

I am an avid visitor in the movie theatres and as with books, I do enjoy different types of movies. I went to see Don Jon yesterday and I have to admit, it was a very nice and positive surprise for me. I really liked the movie and here is the review.

Title: Don Jon
Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Screenwriter: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Production: Voltage Pictures, HitRecord films, Ram Bergman Productions
Genre: Adult: Drama, Comedy, Romance
Length: 90 minutes
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Julianne Moore, Scarlett Johansson


A New Jersey guy dedicated to his family, friends, and church, develops unrealistic expectations from watching porn and works to find happiness and intimacy with his potential true love. (Source: IMDB)

My review:

Don Jon was funny, sincere, entertaining and thought-awakening movie!

Now, let's start with the word thought-awakening. When you watch the trailer, you get an impression that the movie is about a guy who likes porn better than sex and about a girl who has an impression, that life is nothing but a good Hollywood romance movie . It definitely is, but the topics touched in this movie go far beyond and deeper than that.


Meet Don Jon: single, handsome guy who can get any girl he wants and who likes simple things in his life. Like he says in the beginning of the movie: "There's only a few things I really care about in life. My body. My pad. My ride. My family. My church. My boys. My girls. My porn." He works out, drives his car, parties with friends, has sex with different woman every time he is out, jerks off while watching Internet porn and goes to church to get his redemption and meets with his family. His life has a specific rhythm, until he meets Barbara, "the most beautiful thing he's ever seen in his life". Jon can't wait to have sex with her, expecting the experience to be like a joyride straight to heaven. But it's not. The porn still remains; the porn is still a place where he gets his true release and where he loses himself to. Jon still does everything for her fulfilling her every single request. She even demands him not to speak about cleaning, because it's not sexy!

Everything is seemingly peachy, until Barbara and Jon find out few facts about each other when the reality hits the relationship. He is addicted to porn, his friends have disappeared, he takes classes which he has no interest in. She is only interested in a man doing EVERYTHING for her. (Obviously everything, except cleaning). There is no closeness, no intimacy in the relationship. He is in love, she is using it... and the rest is just empty. After the breakup, Jon is back on ground zero.

During his classes he meets another woman, Esther. Jon considers her weird in the beginning and does everything to avoid her. Until Barbara is gone. Until he opens up. Until he talks. Until he can be himself. Until he shows his vulnerability.

Screenwriting, directing and the cast:

I loved the story itself! I loved the honesty, the rawness of it. I enjoyed the dialogue and especially the voice of Jon. It was quirky and funny and sincere. Right to the point.

The visual part of the movie was edgy, quick, sharp and elegant. I think that the Internet porn scenes were elegantly cut together, it did not bother the eye and it did not take too much of space in the movie.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt did a very promising director work in Don Jon. He got the best out of the actors. I think that Scarlett Johansson as Barbara and Julianne Moore as Esther were great! The chemistry between the actors was visible and it at least seemed they enjoyed it a lot!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the main character seemed genuine and sincere, even with all his flaws he was very sympathetic. I liked that he showed the sweet side of Jon, he was actually a nice guy trying to change some parts of his life.

I truly enjoyed Scarlett Johansson. She played Barbara well, so Barbara was on the surface really sweet, a bell, a true classy beauty and then again a nasty, superficial gum-chewing selfish cold bitch. Her voice, her body language  - it was sexy, naive, funny, ugly and repugnant in the same time. She was a perfect choice for Barbara.

I have always admired Julianne Moore for the different roles she has played. In Don Jon, she was as good as ever.

I think the supportive characters did excellent job. Tony Danza was amusing as Jon Sr and Brie Larson as Monica was interesting, to say the least. The dynamics between the father and the son were good and the dialogue was funny. Brie Larson had only few lines to say, but her body language and facial impressions were very interesting to follow.

What did I like?

Why did I like the movie so much? Because for me, the porn itself had a secondary role. Don't get me wrong, it had an importance in the story and Don Jon movie raised questions about it, but the essence was about how distorting and overrated and ridiculous our ideas, our fantasies of relationships can be: A woman who is dreaming about the prince on a white horse who would fulfill all her wishes like in fairytale; a man who thinks that sex with a hot beautiful body can solve the issues of intimacy. Most of the people have a picture in their head how a relationship should be and the reality is different. I am not saying that the reality is different in a bad way. Not at all. Just different. It was also about giving and taking in a relationship, about being yourself in a relationship, about intimacy and about letting go.

What did I miss?

I missed couple of things in the movie, from the screenwriting perspective. It did not disturb me and it did not ruin the total movie experience and rating of the movie, but I kept asking couple of questions which I did not get the answers to. I would have wanted to know more of both Esther's and Barbara's background story, to get deeper into them and to understand them better.


Go and watch it! It's funny, edgy and emotional movie.

5 Flowers!
5 stars.
(10 stars in IMDB)
Happy movie watching!



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