Directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Runtime: 89 minutes, Year: 2013
About the film:
Jon Martello is the quintessential modern-day lothario. He and his friends objectify women, rate them on a scale of one to ten and cruise clubs for chicks that they can bed and discard. Jon, in particular, is exceptionally good at wooing the ladies with his muscles, slick-backed hair and cocky charms. His life, as he tells us in voiceover, is all about his friends, the gym, his ride (a Camaro muscle car), his family, church (no, really), girls and pornography. Lots and lots of pornography. Jon is an inveterate and compulsive porn addict, so much so that it prevents him from having a substantial relationship with any female.
Jon’s life is all about routine, as writer/director/star Joseph Gordon-Levitt shows us repeatedly like a comedic mantra clipped at a quick rate. Jon screams at retarded Sunday drivers behind the wheel, sweats it out at the gym, bangs all kinds of broads, goes home for family dinner every Sunday and then goes to church to confess his myriad transgressions over and over again. And, just like the bong of an iMac rebooting like a buzzer, he watches endless amounts of porn. But Jon’s life of pulling countless broads is quickly upended when he meets the ultimate “dime” (a ten), Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson), a princess guidette with a body built for sin, but the morals of a saint (at least by today’s standards).
What Jon believes to be an easy score is anything but. After tracking her down on Facebook he comes to the conclusion that he’s going to have to break out “the long game” if he’s going to bag this goddess. This means un-Don Juan-like characteristics like dinner, dates, movies (there’s a hilarious fake rom-com in the movie that stars Channing Tatumand Anne Hathaway) and more, long before he even gets a taste. And like a spider weaving a clever web, Barbara teases and grinds Jon for weeks and weeks until he is putty in her hand. After her own longtail scheme is complete, she lets Jon score a touchdown, but by then he’s practically wrapped around her finger.
Soon, Jon’s in love, barely seeing his friends (Rob Brown, Jeremy Luke), enrolling in night classes at her behest so he can leave his bartending job, and even promising he’ll give up pornography completely once Barbara, totally disgusted, uncovers his dirty little secret. Jon even relents to the big whopper: inviting her over to meet the family, which includes his foul-mouthed football-obsessed dad, Jon Sr. (a fantastically funny Tony Danza), his doting mom (a terrifically good Glenne Headly) and his perennially texting sister (Brie Larson).
But while he seemingly has it all (his dad is smitten by his son's gorgeous new beau), Jon is essentially still dissatisfied and yearning for more. While he has the real thing, Jon finds deeper bliss and true sexual transcendence with pornography over real women. Sex is great, but porn is better. But when a classmate of his at night school, Esther (Julianne Moore), catches Jon watching porn in class, her curiosity in him begins a relationship the two of them would never have imagined and will broaden both their emotional horizons. - Rodrigo Perez, INDIEWIRE
When & Where
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● A Graduate Student-run screening series of new sneak previews, LA premieres, and cult
or classic repertory films that runs twice weekly throughout the UCLA academic year. Films are frequently accompanied by special guests, cast or crew, Q&A sessions and more.
● Funded by the Graduate Students Association and ASUCLA Student Interaction Fund.