You Still There? If so, here are some thoughts on Don Jon

Posted: September 27, 2013 by jperritt in Comedy, Drama
Tags: , , , , ,

donSooooooo it’s been a while since we lasted posted something here on Reel Thinking.  You may remember we told you that we would be posting less often, but we thought we would at least have something once a week or so.  Well, there’s been some travel this summer for all of us and life has just gotten busy.  And, for me at least, I haven’t been able to watch a movie in over a month!  It can some be somewhat of a challenge to blog on film when you don’t watch film.  Anyway, I do hope to get some posts up to you soon, and hopefully some of our other bloggers can find the time as well.  Be sure and check back soon, or subscribe to our email which will keep you up-to-date on our current posts.


Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let me share some thoughts with you about a film that comes out today, Don Jon.  Let me just say upfront that I don’t plan on seeing Don Jon.  Part of me wants to because I’m interested to hear the world’s commentary on the outrageous porn addiction of our culture; however, I would have to watch a lot of porn in this film if I did.  All that to say, I may watch an edited version of the film down the road.

Not only am I curious to hear an opposing worldview looking at the issue of porn, I would also like to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s writing/directing debut.  He is talented and has a certain likability to him.  With that being said, let me share a couple of thoughts that interest me about this film.

The World is With Us

Christians have been discussing the issue of porn for quite some time now.  Books have been written, studies have been performed, software has been installed on computers and accountability partners are set up.  Now, however, it seems that the world is with us on this issue.  I’m not saying that the world agrees with us, there are still many that see porn as a non-issue or a personal freedom, I’m simply stating that certain spheres of pop culture are seeing this as a concern.  The entire premise of Don Jon centers on this tension.  Can a man have real relationship with a woman while having multiple fake relationships through porn?  I’m not sure what conclusion the film comes to, especially since it’s a comedy, but there is at least some tension expressed in the movie.  To be honest, Don Jon couldn’t be an interesting film if Gordon-Levitt, producers, and audiences didn’t see porn as somewhat of a problem.  The controversial nature of the topic actually affirms that the world is (somewhat) with us on this.

Using the Problem to Solve the Problem

Documentaries, as well as feature films, have been used to “solve”, or address, various problems in our culture.  However, one could easily argue that movies have been a major contributor to the problem of porn.  To say it another way, a movie is dealing with a problem created by movies.  Moving pictures have only increased the allure and danger of pornographic images.  Yes the MPAA has setup various boundaries to guard from explicit porn entering the theaters, but we know you don’t even necessarily have to view an explicit image for it to be pornography (see PG-13 sensuality). Even Don Jon addresses the problem by exploiting it.  There may be some good thoughts in the movie and it may actually call out people in the various problems, but the genre implies that it pokes fun at something that’s very serious.

Again, I’m not telling anyone to view or abstain from this film, these are just some thoughts to ponder.  You may also find this article interesting.

  1. CMrok93 says:

    I feel like the film juggled a little bit more than it could handle, however, I give JGL props for at least trying to go deeper with his material. Nice post. Very thoughtful.

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