Okay. Here’s a funny story before I begin.
I watched this amazing movie (I still didn’t know it would be amazing yet but yeah.. so) while I was riding a tricycle off home from work and I displayed my phone for all to see. Because … HOW WAS I EVEN SUPPOSED TO KNOW IT WOULD HAVE RATED R stuff coming out in the first 3 minutes? 5 minutes in, I notice some of the passengers looking at me; feeling their gaze and thinking “What is she watching? My God! She watches those stuff?” I was torn between wanting to explain and just not giving a damn but meh. I was too tired to do some explaining. I stared back at them, astute yet appearing to be oblivious as to why they were staring at me and my lovely phone.
Then I reach home, head for my room. Turn the lights off, and watch.
Onto the proper review; yet an informal one. LoL.
After a worthy person’s recommendation, I watched its trailer and I was hooked. As I watched the film, I knew what was coming. But I was in for a surprise. What I did not expect was how the story would be presented.
DON JON: A film about love and relationships… with porn as the side dish. Or is it the other way around?
Let’s revisit to find out.
Jon Martello Jr. cares for only a few things in his life – as he so eloquently put it.
His body. His pad. His ride. His family. His church. His girls. His porn. Yes, you read it right. His porn.
Our protagonist, often called Don Jon due to his having a different girl every weekend, is a porn addict. And this is why he cannot properly relate and have proper relationships with people. He sees a dime, Barbara Sugarman, (played by Scarlett Johansson) and eventually they do fall in love and have sex but then he still cannot let go of his addiction towards porn.
To quote: It’s not that I can’t stop. I just figure, why should I?
However, despite its many good points, it does not escape my notice that as the film progressed, it became cheesier and sappier by the minute. It is not a bad thing though. By the time it got to this point, the viewer would have already understood the purpose of the film and the intended message would have been delivered.
A feminist by heart, I was largely impressed by their satirical approach to how women have been (are being) portrayed and objectified by the media nowadays. When I first watched the film, I was much insulted at the kinds of women the director and screenwriter wanted to include in his film (the mother, the sister, the girls at the bar) but at the same time, I liked how Esther’s and Barbara’s characters were personified.
As he (Jon) narrates his way through the story of how he struggles with his addiction to porn, I find myself relating to him. Porn is escape. I can relate to that.
This was something else, entirely.
What then if you become so addicted to it and find it hard to be contented with ‘real’ people, thus ‘real’ sex. It’s funny to think how watching ‘fake’ sex made him have ‘fake’ relationships too.
An underrated (I feel it was) scene was shown where Esther asked Jon that if he has a girlfriend, why does he feel the need to watch people fool around? Why the need to watch people pretend they’re fucking on his phone? To which Jon replies, “Lady, the shit I watch here, they’re not pretending.”
Then Esther with much conviction and irony in her tone, “Of course they are.”
If you had been following my blog, you’d know I currently posed a question.
“Why can’t people live without deception?”
Porn; is deception wrapped to be someone’s fantasy and escape. That is my view on it. And this film has proven my point. Aside from its very smart way of presenting reality, the screenplay will hit you right on the head if you pay attention.
Don Jon: Who’d you take home, huh?
Danny: Twos and threes baby. I’m telling you, twos and threes are some open-minded ladies.
The reality that there will always be people who will judge you basing on how good-looking you are, is evident and this film, like all other films if the viewers just pay very close attention, shows that we must be better. We must become better, because if we do not, we would always be stuck in deception point.
We would always convince ourselves that everyone watches porn.
The story goes deeper after Barbara catches Jon watching porno and though he managed to convince her it was just a prank made by one his friends, she caught him – again. I keep replaying the part where they argue for the last time. This, I confess, is solely and I do mean solely because the way Scarlett delivered her argument was strangely amusing and her voice! Her voice! (See the film HER to hear more for of her VOICE. HAHA)
Barbara Sugarman: Movies and porn are different, Jon! They give award for movies.
Jon Martello Jr.: They give awards for porno, too.
I still see Scarlett (and her gum) but this time, I see her acting. She is still the badass chick, but with less guns and bombs and martial arts choreography this time. And I admit I might have felt insulted at the way her character was portrayed. Who wouldn’t? Not every career-driven and outspoken woman does what she does; manipulate people. But then again, that was the point of the film, wasn’t it? Show reality … and how people treat relationships nowadays.
The best scene in the film is yet to be told, though.
Jon’s last confession.
The film, while revealing the hypocrisies of gender roles in society and the inanity of our beliefs towards recreational sex and fear of intimacy with the dependence on technology to feel bliss as in a state of “losing oneself”, made fun with the church while at it!
I especially loved the scene on Jon’s last confession. It came right after he has supposedly found someone (Julianne Moore) whom he was able to find ‘real’ connection with.
Jon: Really? Same thing, no difference? Wait! Father, I’m really sorry, but could you just tell me how you got those numbers, please? ‘Cause I… I really thought there was going to be a difference this week.
I couldn’t help but laugh at the scene. Pitiful dude.
The film’s purpose was to show how the media has been such a very influential form of our expectation in the world today. The concept of what is beautiful and ‘in’ being shoved down our throats and we willingly swallow. I think that the film was able to fulfill its promise of being able to provide its viewers with a film urging them to think out of the box. Plus, its satirical approach is certainly a fun watch.
A film brutally honest and funny yet not overstepping bounds.
Over all, the film was smart, poignant, and new. Considering it was first released 3 years ago.
The film started true and simple. A guy who loves porn and despite having found his ‘dime’ in a dozen (or a hundred even), still loves porn and escapes toward it, on a regular basis. But it ended in a cliché, not unlike any other, a way most viewers would want it too; a sappy ending. He, the protagonist, ultimately finds love and begins to build a real relationship with someone.
A film not quite like the film 500 Days of Summer (one of my most-watched along with Comet, and others) this movie, thanks to a fellow blogger has found its way to me.
An avid fan of satires, ironies, and cleverly written screenplays (like Good Will Hunting or The Imitation Game, and The Grand Budapest Hotel), I did love this film – the language, the way it was presented, and the screenplay fit the directing. Partly, it may be because it was both written and directed by the same person, though. Too smart for its own good, yet still, it delivered. It is worth a rewatch.
It is not a film about porn. It more than that.
If you were to watch it seriously, and you are to see it from the eyes of someone like me (the ones you call millennials and the ones you say are too hooked on the media nowadays that almost all things the media advertises, we patronize?), you’d be left wondering.
When WAS the last time you really connected with someone?
How do you get out of the shithole you have been addicted to?
When was the last time you lost yourself in the moment with just that one person?
…When was the last time you jerked off without the need for porn?…
True relationships are hard to find, I know. My past posts are the antecedents to that.
But this smart film has left me wondering.
This is A very good film. It is sad how the media really has objectified our women and how people just tend to suck it all up and absorb everything.
But I gotta tell you.
The sister. The girls at the bar. The mother. Barbara. Esther.
These are not the only girls around. The world is huge.
Esther could just as easily have the qualities of Barbara as Barbara could be very much like Esther or ‘the girls at the bar’.
I normally do not watch romantic movies, romantic comedies at that, (don’t ask me why I watched 500 days, I can’t remember too) but I am a fan of the cinematic art and I like to think I am good at digesting the good ones. This one, full of wit; sarcasm; and irony – this is worth keeping.
1: The media is evil.
2: Really? I’d like to say, “It’s all a matter of perspective.”
The film showcases an aspect of what the media impacts us on. If you still haven’t seen the film Her, I recommend you watch it, too.
Movie: Don Jon