Listen, dude, bro, I ain’t gonna sugarcoat it for you. The battle of sexes is real and it is fierce. Look no further than movies. I’ll use this couple I know, we’ll call them Ross and Rachael, as an example.
Ross, like most red blooded American men who like to pound vag, loves watching action flicks. Riddick is a good time at the movies for him. Stupid hero? Check. Big explosions? Check. Hot chicks? A requirement. You throw these things into a movie and Ross is a happy camper. Other than that, leave him alone while he watches porn. And don’t even think about tempting him with stupid, cliché-ridden romantic comedies because shit like that doesn’t happen in real life.
Now we’re going to focus on Rachael, another prototypical example of the American dream, but with a vagina. See Rachael works hard all day. And she doesn’t need to be bothered worrying about her relationships or her family or even work. She just wants to veg out and watch something that will make her heart flutter a bit. That’s why Rachael picks romance more than any other genre. But, seriously, don’t talk to her about action movies because they only star stupid monosyllabic idiots and have fights that could never possibly happen in real life.
You see where I’m going with this, right? Both Ross and Rachael are fucking idiots. Both genres of films, any genre of film we watch too much in fact, warp our perception of reality. But, more than that, all film is supposed to be escapism. Of course nothing that happens in film can happen in real life. THAT’S WHY IT’S A FUCKING FILM!!! So, at the end of the day, all we’re left with is a deflated ego and unreliable expectations when it comes to the real world. It’s a topic I could speak, and sometimes do after a beer too many, at great length. It’s also a topic I never thought a film would be brave enough to tackle. But, what do you know, that Kid From 3rd Rock made a film about gender expectations in film. And it’s damn good.
Don Jon is all about this Guido from Jersey who likes to party and fuck. He’s a bad ass, basically. And, when he’s not balling chicks, he’s pounding down some porn for good measure. One day he meets Black Widow with a Jersey Accent and they hit it off. She wants him to stop watching porn. She says it makes him numb. Yet she can’t stop watching, and comparing, her life to a romantic comedy.
Listen, if effective writing is about establishing clear conflict and allowing that conflict to reach a boiling point, Don Jon works wonders. You know, from the first line, what Jon stands for. Then Black Widow comes along and, in a very realistic and smart way, stands for everything he’s not. It’s as simple as it is compelling.
It’s also very timely. It deals with the tired trope of man-boys like me without ever condescending to the viewer. And it also paints a realistic picture of today’s dating scene, which is equally impressive and sad.
So, the next time your significant other says they don’t want to watch your favorite genre, call them an idiot. Because we all gotta get out of our box. We all should try new things. And all genres are equally cliché ridden. If you don’t believe me, watch Don Jon, that dude will set you straight.