The new comedy, Don Jon follows a man who is addicted to porn, and his new girlfriend who is obsessed with romantic movies.
The main actor playing Don Jon, Gordon Joseph-Levitt, who also wrote and produced the movie, puts a comedic spin on objectification and the idealistic relationship in our society.
In the movie, Don Jon objectifies everything in his life including women, his car and his looks. He has a picture perfect image of who he should be and lives his life continually body building and having one night stands. Yet, he still prefers pornography over the real thing, and struggles to quit watching porn, even after pursuing a relationship with Scarlett Johansson’s character, Barbara, who he refers to as “a dime” on his personal scale rating (based on looks alone).
Interestingly, it is not only Don Jon objectifying Barbara, but also her objectifying him as she does not really try to get to know him as a person. Barbara is focused on having a fantasy relationship, like the relationships she sees in romantic movies. She confuses the idealistic relationship with reality, causing trouble in her relationship with Don Jon.
Even though this movie takes a comedic approach, it underlines a real problem in our society: objectification. Gordon Joseph-Levitt explains in an interview that he chose Scarlett Johansson as the actress to play Barbara because she endures objectification in her real life. He explains how she is a smart, talented person, but when anyone talks about her, it’s usually focused on her looks.
Objectification can affect how we feel about ourselves, our relationships and how we portray the opposite sex. In our culture, the media plays a large role in causing both men and women to feel they should look and act a certain way. For example, women struggle with body image and continually doll themselves up and some even undergo plastic surgery. Both men and women (especially women) are being objectified in the media. The sexual images of slender, attractive women are all around us in magazines, movies and on television, giving us an unrealistic idea of how women should look.
Objectification of both men and women may be a problem for a long time, causing us to focus more on looks over personality. Sadly, more and more women feel they need to alter appearances based on the media’s portrayal of what looks sexy or beautiful.
In my opinion, to maintain happy lives with healthy relationships, it’s important to focus on who we, and the people around us, truly are and to never dwell on the flaws because we all have them. Moreover, let’s start viewing our flaws as a positive because, after all, they are what make us unique, too.
Overall, the movie is a clever way to engage audiences and start a conversation about objectification and how media shapes our perceptions. It will make you laugh, but can also be a real eye-opener.