Porn Habits: A Review of Don Jon

Unnumbered Movie Review #7

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don-jon

Today I’m going to be reviewing the movie Don Jon. But before I start I have to say that I have a motive for writing this review. I was talking about this movie a while ago with some friends and while I raved about it, my friends were less than positive. They went as far as to question whether it was sexist or not. I never really got a chance to explain why I liked the movie so much. So I thought, why not explain it here. Also, warning on spoilers.

For those who don’t know Don Jon is a movie that was released in 2013 and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, and Julianne Moore. The movie was written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and it was also his first time writing and directing on a feature film.

The movie itself is about a young man whose world revolves around his favourite things, his body, his pad, his ride, his family, his boys, his girls, and his porn. We’ve all seen the trailer. But when he finds a girlfriend, Barbara, played by Scarlett Johansson, who wont let him watch porn and he struggles to deal with the temptation. So, what is so great about this movie?

This movie was very meaningful to me personally because it said a lot about how young men deal with relationships. When Scarlet Johansson and Joseph Gordon Levitt’s characters first meet Jon only wants to get Barbara into bed and he follows up with her only because she rejected him on that first night.

Once they are in a relationship he meets her family and friends and he meets her family and friends and he goes back to school. He does all of this on her behest. He throws himself into this relationship and makes several major changes in his life without really putting much too much thought into any of it. And the whole time Johansson is manipulating him. She’s slowly changing him, molding him into the perfect man. But this movie is less about what women do in relationships and more what men do. Because more than her manipulations, it’s Jon who relinquishes control of his life to Barbara without thinking and learning to not lose control of your life in a relationship is an important thing to learn for young men.

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At the same time Jon is having this inner struggle between, what may be, a porn addiction and feeling happy and satisfied with his sex life. On one hand he knows that there is something wrong about getting more out of watching people having sex on a computer screen but on the other he gets something out of porn that he doesn’t get out of sex, he “loses himself”.

Enter Julianne Moore.

When Jon takes a night class on his girlfriend’s request he meets Julianne Moore’s character, Esther. Esther plays a mentor role in Jon’s life. She calls him out on his porn habits and tries to teach him how to have a healthy, satisfying sexual relationship with a real woman. She teaches him that it is his selfish behavior that is blocking him from having good sex and she says, “If you want to lose yourself, you have to lose yourself in another person and she has to lose herself in you, it’s a two way thing.”

 

 

After Barbara breaks up with Jon, Esther helps him through some of the confusion, continuing her mentor role. After changing his identity for Barbara, Jon doesn’t really know where to go or what to do. In the end Jon stops his selfish behavior, he opens his mind and learns to find what is important to him, not what is important to the people around him. He knows that he has been putting his happiness in the hands of other people and things and when he stops doing that he can choose to be happy for himself.

 

After all that, I hope my friends still don’t think it’s sexist movie. I mean, just because it is about a man doesn’t mean that it is against women.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this blog. Please follow me this blog and/or hit the like button, also feel free to leave a comment.

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