In 'Don Jon,' Joseph Gordon Levitt Explores Relationships & Media Imagery

Would you believe it if you knew that your perception on what you look for in a significant other may be heavily influenced by media? The film "Don Jon" is a film that gives us a closer look at our possible misconceptions about relationships.




One of the things that is noticeable in film is how relationships are depicted. At times it's cliche and depicts something that is not at all common in the real world, especially with the happy endings. Other times films, whether intentional or not, still have a trouble in exploring relationships that are different. Films still have a difficulty with interracial relationships, homosexual relationships are still taboo, and in rom-coms, there are always those few formulas that always films always follow, which are different than what is out there in the real world whether we agree with any of them or not.

At the heart of the film, the key issues are Don Jon's (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) inability to reach a fulfillment of intimacy with any of the women he meets because he feels that pornography films are more true and closer to what he's looking for than the real thing. Barbara (played by Scarlett Johansson) feels that the right guy for her are the guys she sees in romance films who stereotypically not only fall in love with the woman they are attracted to, but they seem to give up everything unconditionally for her. In other words, it's all about the "perfect" man. This male character may even be flawed or rough around the edges, but then are transformed in some way to fit the woman's needs. In the real world, relationships are about compromise and adapting. Some relationships fail, some succeed. Some find the one, others keep searching through candidates maybe even their whole life.

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However, in film that is not the case. At times, romance stories evolve over a short amount of time and then here is the perfect relationship and they lived Happily Ever After. Disney is notorious for this. How many times though do we see relationships struggle through all the ups and the major downs of their relationships especially through the compromise?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been in another film that gives us a very different out look and outcome of the romantic interactions between the protagonist and his love interest in "500 Days of Summer". Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes an interesting yet bold commentary about how media influences are ideas for relationships through his Directorial Debut film "Don Jon".

"Don Jon" hits theaters on September 27.

~ Ian Noel Camilotes, Entertainment Editor 
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