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Don Jon

Gathomas88

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I'd normally post something like this in the movies' thread, but I think that this particular film was actually complex and thought provoking enough to warrant a thread of it's own. (Kinda / sorta spoilers may follow, but I'll try to keep the bigger elements in spoiler tags)

To start off with, let me just say that the film was incredibly well done. Joseph Gordon Levitt's future as a director is basically assured if he can maintain the level of quality seen in Don Jon.

He does an admirable job of making his (objectively, pretty terrible) New Jersey Guido character likeable in spite of his overtly "douchey" tendencies towards narcissism, womanizing, impulsive anger, and generally selfish apathy. The film also manages to perfectly skirt the line between serious social commentary and humor without ever losing its narrative or lapsing into any overt degree of preachiness.

The basic gist of the film concerns the manner in which modern society tends to build up unrealistic expectations and even blatant fantasies concerning sex and relationships, and how these skewed perceptions can tend to play havoc among both genders. In this regard, the film is shockingly even-handed and on the nose.

From night clubs, the kinds of people who frequent them, and the attitudes they tend to carry, to the inherent shallow self-centeredness of the sexual habits of my generation, the value of pornography vs casual sex (the protagonist prefers pornography), and even the manner in which the "romance" genre often tends to create just as many problems for women as pornography creates for men, I don't think there's a single thought or situation in the entire film that I haven't had happen or occur to myself at some point in recent memory.

There are, admittedly, some minor flaws in the film's premise. For instance, the fact that the protagonist is a porn addict and a world class player capable of pulling down women in the 8 to 10 range every weekend strikes me as being kind of far fetched. He also seems to be far more affluent than a person of his uneducated lower class status should be.

However, all of that can ultimately be forgiven when one considers the subjects that the film attempts to explore. After all, the effects of casual sex and pornography both could not be explored if Levitt's character was only a player or a virginal shut-in, now could they?

The only real issues I had with the film are addressed below.

In the last twenty or so minutes of the film, the movie attempts to switch gears and take swings at traditional values as well as the more casual way of doing things.

The protagonist declares that he "doesn't want a wife or family" to his mother, is rather coldly snubbed by a priest in a confessional, and eventually decides that simply "loving" an older, wiser woman with no strings attached is the ideal alternative to his previous behavior.

This raises a few problems.

First off, the attack on the nuclear family wasn't built up at all. His parents (in spite of being obnoxious New Jersey working class Italians, obviously :lol: ) actually seem to have a fairly happy and loving home life. His rejection of the lifestyle gives the impression of simply coming out of nowhere and being more than a little immature.

The religious issue is built up a little better, but still doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Throughout the movie, he is shown going to confession every week so that he can list off his latest conquests (both virtual and real) and do penance for them. He seems to take comfort from this.

After having reformed his behavior and going to confession again, he is shocked to discover that the Priest seems indifferent to this fact, assigning the same penance as always, and even ignores him when he asks why the penance hadn't been reduced. The implication seems to be that religion is worthless, as it doesn't do anything to better personal behavior.

This is problematic for at least two reasons. A) It's not something that would ever happen in real life (Priests pretty much always give out some kind of advice with their penances in my experience), and B), it seems to be directing blame to the wrong sector.

It's frankly not the Church's fault if one of its members happens to be a hypocrite. If Levitt's character didn't learn anything from his previous confessions, that is his own failing, not one of the institution itself.

Finally, the unambitious and unsettled "no strings attached" philosophy it ultimately champions strikes me as being more than a tad shallow and poorly thought out.

Put bluntly, there's simply no such thing. Every relationship is ultimately going to come to a "**** or get off of the pot" moment sooner or latter, where further entanglements or complications arise. "Love" even if it is of the emotional and non-selfish variety, can only carry a relationship so far on its own merits.

It comes off as being more than a little dishonest that they would simply ignore these factors entirely after exploring the more explicitly physical variety of relationship in such great detail.

In any case, however; I'd say that it was an outstanding movie overall. Kudos to JGL.

9 out of 10. :clap:
 
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ChrisL

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I'd normally post something like this in the movies' thread, but I think that this particular film was actually complex and thought provoking enough to warrant a thread of it's own. (Kinda / sorta spoilers may follow, but I'll try to keep the bigger elements in spoiler tags)

To start off with, let me just say that the film was incredibly well done. Joseph Gordon Levitt's future as a director is basically assured if he can maintain the level of quality seen in Don Jon.

He does an admirable job of making his (objectively, pretty terrible) New Jersey Guido character likeable in spite of his overtly "douchey" tendencies towards narcissism, womanizing, impulsive anger, and generally selfish apathy. The film also manages to perfectly skirt the line between serious social commentary and humor without ever losing its narrative or lapsing into any overt degree of preachiness.

The basic gist of the film concerns the manner in which modern society tends to build up unrealistic expectations and even blatant fantasies concerning sex and relationships, and how these skewed perceptions can tend to play havoc among both genders. In this regard, the film is shockingly even-handed and on the nose.

From night clubs, the kinds of people who frequent them, and the attitudes they tend to carry, to the inherent shallow self-centeredness of the sexual habits of my generation, the value of pornography vs casual sex (the protagonist prefers pornography), and even the manner in which the "romance" genre often tends to create just as many problems for women as pornography creates for men, I don't think there's a single thought or situation in the entire film that I haven't had happen or occur to myself at some point in recent memory.

There are, admittedly, some minor flaws in the film's premise. For instance, the fact that the protagonist is a porn addict and a world class player capable of pulling down women in the 8 to 10 range every weekend strikes me as being kind of far fetched. He also seems to be far more affluent than a person of his uneducated lower class status should be.

However, all of that can ultimately be forgiven when one considers the subjects that the film attempts to explore. After all, the effects of casual sex and pornography both could not be explored if Levitt's character was only a player or a virginal shut-in, now could they?

The only real issues I had with the film are addressed below.

In the last twenty or so minutes of the film, the movie attempts to switch gears and take swings at traditional values as well as the more casual way of doing things.

The protagonist declares that he "doesn't want a wife or family" to his mother, is rather coldly snubbed by a priest in a confessional, and eventually decides that simply "loving" an older, wiser woman with no strings attached is the ideal alternative to his previous behavior.

This raises a few problems.

First off, the attack on the nuclear family wasn't built up at all. His parents (in spite of being obnoxious New Jersey working class Italians, obviously :lol: ) actually seem to have a fairly happy and loving home life. His rejection of the lifestyle gives the impression of simply coming out of nowhere and being more than a little immature.

The religious issue is built up a little better, but still doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Throughout the movie, he is shown going to confession every week so that he can list off his latest conquests (both virtual and real) and do penance for them. He seems to take comfort from this.

After having reformed his behavior and going to confession again, he is shocked to discover that the Priest seems indifferent to this fact, assigning the same penance as always, and even ignores him when he asks why the penance hadn't been reduced. The implication seems to be that religion is worthless, as it doesn't do anything to better personal behavior.

This is problematic for at least two reasons. A) It's not something that would ever happen in real life (Priests pretty much always give out some kind of advice with their penances in my experience), and B), it seems to be directing blame to the wrong sector.

It's frankly not the Church's fault if one of its members happens to be a hypocrite. If Levitt's character didn't learn anything from his previous confessions, that is his own failing, not one of the institution itself.

Finally, the unambitious and unsettled "no strings attached" philosophy it ultimately champions strikes me as being more than a tad shallow and poorly thought out.

Put bluntly, there's simply no such thing. Every relationship is ultimately going to come to a "**** or get off of the pot" moment sooner or latter, where further entanglements or complications arise. "Love" even if it is of the emotional and non-selfish variety, can only carry a relationship so far on its own merits.

It comes off as being more than a little dishonest that they would simply ignore these factors entirely after exploring the more explicitly physical variety of relationship in such great detail.

In any case, however; I'd say that it was an outstanding movie overall. Kudos to JGL.

9 out of 10. :clap:


:lamo

Looks pretty funny!
 

ChrisL

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My father and I were laughing so hard at a couple of points that we were literally about to fall out of our chairs. :lol:

I'll have to check it out. :)
 

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I'd normally post something like this in the movies' thread, but I think that this particular film was actually complex and thought provoking enough to warrant a thread of it's own. (Kinda / sorta spoilers may follow, but I'll try to keep the bigger elements in spoiler tags)

To start off with, let me just say that the film was incredibly well done. Joseph Gordon Levitt's future as a director is basically assured if he can maintain the level of quality seen in Don Jon.

He does an admirable job of making his (objectively, pretty terrible) New Jersey Guido character likeable in spite of his overtly "douchey" tendencies towards narcissism, womanizing, impulsive anger, and generally selfish apathy. The film also manages to perfectly skirt the line between serious social commentary and humor without ever losing its narrative or lapsing into any overt degree of preachiness.

The basic gist of the film concerns the manner in which modern society tends to build up unrealistic expectations and even blatant fantasies concerning sex and relationships, and how these skewed perceptions can tend to play havoc among both genders. In this regard, the film is shockingly even-handed and on the nose.

From night clubs, the kinds of people who frequent them, and the attitudes they tend to carry, to the inherent shallow self-centeredness of the sexual habits of my generation, the value of pornography vs casual sex (the protagonist prefers pornography), and even the manner in which the "romance" genre often tends to create just as many problems for women as pornography creates for men, I don't think there's a single thought or situation in the entire film that I haven't had happen or occur to myself at some point in recent memory.

There are, admittedly, some minor flaws in the film's premise. For instance, the fact that the protagonist is a porn addict and a world class player capable of pulling down women in the 8 to 10 range every weekend strikes me as being kind of far fetched. He also seems to be far more affluent than a person of his uneducated lower class status should be.

However, all of that can ultimately be forgiven when one considers the subjects that the film attempts to explore. After all, the effects of casual sex and pornography both could not be explored if Levitt's character was only a player or a virginal shut-in, now could they?

The only real issues I had with the film are addressed below.

In the last twenty or so minutes of the film, the movie attempts to switch gears and take swings at traditional values as well as the more casual way of doing things.

The protagonist declares that he "doesn't want a wife or family" to his mother, is rather coldly snubbed by a priest in a confessional, and eventually decides that simply "loving" an older, wiser woman with no strings attached is the ideal alternative to his previous behavior.

This raises a few problems.

First off, the attack on the nuclear family wasn't built up at all. His parents (in spite of being obnoxious New Jersey working class Italians, obviously :lol: ) actually seem to have a fairly happy and loving home life. His rejection of the lifestyle gives the impression of simply coming out of nowhere and being more than a little immature.

The religious issue is built up a little better, but still doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Throughout the movie, he is shown going to confession every week so that he can list off his latest conquests (both virtual and real) and do penance for them. He seems to take comfort from this.

After having reformed his behavior and going to confession again, he is shocked to discover that the Priest seems indifferent to this fact, assigning the same penance as always, and even ignores him when he asks why the penance hadn't been reduced. The implication seems to be that religion is worthless, as it doesn't do anything to better personal behavior.

This is problematic for at least two reasons. A) It's not something that would ever happen in real life (Priests pretty much always give out some kind of advice with their penances in my experience), and B), it seems to be directing blame to the wrong sector.

It's frankly not the Church's fault if one of its members happens to be a hypocrite. If Levitt's character didn't learn anything from his previous confessions, that is his own failing, not one of the institution itself.

Finally, the unambitious and unsettled "no strings attached" philosophy it ultimately champions strikes me as being more than a tad shallow and poorly thought out.

Put bluntly, there's simply no such thing. Every relationship is ultimately going to come to a "**** or get off of the pot" moment sooner or latter, where further entanglements or complications arise. "Love" even if it is of the emotional and non-selfish variety, can only carry a relationship so far on its own merits.

It comes off as being more than a little dishonest that they would simply ignore these factors entirely after exploring the more explicitly physical variety of relationship in such great detail.

In any case, however; I'd say that it was an outstanding movie overall. Kudos to JGL.

9 out of 10. :clap:


THanks for the rec. I've been wanting to go see a good movie, and this one may just be the one to see.
 

Gathomas88

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THanks for the rec. I've been wanting to go see a good movie, and this one may just be the one to see.

Fair warning. It's more than a little raunchy.

It's heart's certainly in the right place, but it makes no bones about sparing the audience all of the gory details.

The film's definitely not for the easily offended (not that you are, of course). :lol:
 

lizzie

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Fair warning. It's more than a little raunchy.

It's heart's certainly in the right place, but it makes no bones about sparing the audience all of the gory details.

The film's definitely not for the easily offended (not that you are, of course). :lol:

That's okay. I'm much less innocent than I seem. ;)
Heeding your warning, though, I might need to find a date, because the locals may think me weird to go see it by myself. :lol:
 

Fiddytree

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I like JGL, but I am only interested in Julianne Moore. The premise is the movie revolves in part around her but I have yet to actually see her in a tv spot. How was she?
 

Gathomas88

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I like JGL, but I am only interested in Julianne Moore. The premise is the movie revolves in part around her but I have yet to actually see her in a tv spot. How was she?

She didn't really leave much of an impression on me one way or the other to be honest.

Don't get me wrong. Her role is pretty crucial to the story, and she plays it well.

It's just that, in comparison to everyone else, her "kooky older hippie chick" character comes off as being a bit bland. She doesn't really "lose herself" in the role in the same way that JGL or Scarlet do.

I didn't even know she was in the movie until I came to see it. Lol
 

Fiddytree

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She didn't really leave much of an impression on me one way or the other to be honest.

Don't get me wrong. Her role is pretty crucial to the story, and she plays it well.

It's just that, in comparison to everyone else, her "kooky older hippie chick" character comes off as being a bit bland. She doesn't really "lose herself" in the role in the same way that JGL or Scarlet do.

I didn't even know she was in the movie until I came to see it. Lol

Ah, okay. Well, I will keep an eye on that if I decide to view it in the theaters.
 
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