Jon Martello (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a modern day Don Juan who only cares about a few things in his life, his body, his pad, his ride, his family, his church, his boys, his girls, and his porn-especially his porn. One night as he and his friends are scoping out women at the bar, he sees Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johanson), he instantly falls in “love” with her and eventually he begins to date her. Barbara is addicted to romantic movies, the ones with unrealistic expectations and just completely distorted related, it is used as a parallel to Jon’s porn addiction and works fairly well. Jon continues to be obsessed with his porn as he dates Barbara and she expects too much of him due to the movies she watches. A set-up for failure.
Another character Jon meets is Esther (Julianne Moore), he meets her at a weekly night class that Barbara asked him to sign up for. She becomes more prominent and important as the film goes on but to avoid spoilers, I won’t go on. The themes of the movie are certainly important and I can’t think of many films that have gotten into the depths of pornography addiction or the problem with unrealistic romantic Hollywood movies, so its nice to see. Could the movie have gone a bit more in depth? Yeah probably. But, it still manages to do a nice job of displaying problems that should be displayed.
It’s entertaining and filled with plenty of comedic moments especially with Jon’s narration, which I’m still not a fan of voice-over narration but sometimes there really isn’t much of a way to get into the head of this character, so it’s a necessary I suppose. In general, I found the movie to be very tasteful and almost pure in a sense. Its one of the few movies were the aspect of love seemed to feel real and genuine, rather than the typical fakeness displayed in plenty of movies which was obviously the point of this film amongst its themes of pornography addiction. Again, it’s very much on the lighter side of its themes, it doesn’t try to get overly complex but still manages to explore what it needed to well. Overall, it’s a good time and I’m a big fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an actor and now as a director as well, I hope to see his career flourish even more.