Don Jon is an approachable and light hearted romantic comedy with earnest aspirations. Namely, it seeks to take a closer look at how internet pornography and media has impacted a generation of young men, and its cost on relationships. This film immediately brought to mind Gary Wilson’s TED talk, “The Great Porn Experiment” which discusses the impact of internet pornography on 20-something men. The film is so approachable it may seem pretentious to over-intellectualize it, but Don Jon also manages to contrast the dark side of sexuality: addiction, possession, and objectification with with the romantic ideals of love and true connection.
This is not typically the genre I respond to so perhaps for a more favorable review I would want to see a more nuanced, less idealistic storyline and more complex ideas expressed (as love, desire and sexuality are extremely complex and nuanced topics), but I feel the effort of this film should truly be applauded. It is worth noting that I watched Von Trier’s intense and richly crafted Nymphomaniac 1 the night before, so it would only be expected that Don Jon would feel quite anemic by comparison. That said, I liked that Don Jon had an unexpected twist with Gordon-Levitt’s character ultimately connecting and falling in love with a much older woman. That is something that is rarely if ever seen in a typical rom-com.
★★ 2/5 Stars
Photo by Daniel McFadden – © 2013 Relativity Media, LLC.