Don Jon (2013)
November 20, 2014 6:14 PM - Subscribe

"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."

Don Jon follows a young, working class guy in his exploration of his own ability to have intimacy - in all senses of the word. Joseph Gordon-Leavitt leads a strong supporting cast that includes Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore and Tony Danza.
posted by latkes (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I watched this last night and am really torn:

It was smart and funny and kind of a brilliant social critique, but at the same time, the women all serve the lead's development, as does a classic black side-kick to the ultimate straight, white male lead. Also, I felt the message was ultimately puritanical and unrealistic.

Really great performances, lots of funny moments, some food for thought, but left me with mixed feelings.

What about you?
posted by latkes at 6:16 PM on November 20, 2014 [4 favorites]

I haven't seen it since it came out but I remember that I liked the first 2/3 of the movie, but thought the last act was a mess, where we're supposed to hate Scarlett Johansson for being a "prude" while he acts like a bit of a jerk. I remember the ending had a muddy message and I felt like they ruined a good thing they had going in the first half of the film.
posted by mathowie at 6:38 PM on November 20, 2014 [5 favorites]

Tony Danza completely killed it as Don Jon's dad. Also, I think that basically every character was supposed to inspire mixed emotions. Don Jon migjt have been the protagonist, but he was a loathesome human being.

I loved this movie, but may be biased by my Philly heritage. I seriously know each of these characters personally.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:54 AM on November 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

Although I gotta agree with mathowie. I felt like Julianne Moore just kind of came out of nowhere.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:55 AM on November 21, 2014

We were supposed to hate SJ's character for being a prude? I thought it was for being overly controlling?

Anyway, my favorite parts of the movie were the family interactions, I thought they nailed them, especially Tony Danza.
posted by gaspode at 5:16 AM on November 21, 2014 [5 favorites]

Funny, the Tony Danza character, well, I guess the mom too (not familiar with that actor) was the main one who went just a bit too far over the edge from character to caricature to me. It was probably his repellent leering at his son's girlfriend! Although I know that stuff happens! Ick!
posted by latkes at 6:33 AM on November 21, 2014

I did get the sense, watching it, that all the actors were having a tremendously great time making it.
posted by latkes at 6:34 AM on November 21, 2014

I thought this movie was taking a really interesting look at a particular and fairly common aspect of straight dude mentality that doesn't often get explored in a trenchant way but the ending and whatever message/moral it implied left me feeling very :|

My favorite character was his sister.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:21 AM on November 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

I loved the sister too!
posted by latkes at 12:11 PM on November 21, 2014

Such a weird film. Not bad, but not exactly good either.

I did enjoy the unravelling of the main character's heteronormativity, though. The film is basically about a guy whose sense of identity is so bound up in very specific displays of masculinity (including a relationship with a woman who is correspondingly bound by feminine stereotypes) that he has no access to any kind of real joy or authentic emotion... and then he is set free from those constraints by his relationship with a feminist. I mean, that is the plot of the film, right? I don't even feel like that's subtext; that's the text. And yet it's somehow presented in such a way that most of its audience won't walk out of the cinema thinking 'I just saw a film about why men need feminism'.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 7:23 PM on November 21, 2014 [7 favorites]

I don't think that's exactly the text. It's not like Moore's character's name is 'The Feminist'. I think it's all right if people came away with different or broader interpretations.

I thought the film was about love and how it can be bound up with ownership. Like with his car, or his body, he is not in love with them but rather in love with the sensuality they confer. He doesn't love his car, he loves the trip. The same with working out his body. Our narcissism isn't driven by wanting or thinking we look good, but motivated and sustained by our enjoyment itself. It's an ouroboros of pleasure. Jon doesn't simply objectify women because he's an asshole, he objectifies them because he can't, or won't, as easily be able to interact as he can through his own self-pleasure. Which are upheld through misguided sexist ideals, and that makes him an asshole. Jon is a guy who learns through an older and more experienced woman to realize that real emotions and feelings in a relationship happen interactively.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:29 PM on November 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

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