Don Jon And The Battle Of The Sexes

Dude, we don’t understand each other, but we’re sure as hell gonna fuck each other.

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.

Grade: B+

Looper Review: FROM THE FUTURE!!!

“I’m gonna make sure John McClain, I mean me, dies hard, bitches!!!!” -3rd Rock Tommy looking like John McClain

True Story: I received this e-mail sometime during June of 2008, a couple of weeks after watching The Brothers Bloom. I thought it was full of shit but so far everything in it has come true, especially that part about Shanna’s herpes. Dodge a bullet there, bro.

Dear DudeBro,

What’s up you beautiful bastard? It’s you, from the future. No worries, you’re still as hot as a thousand suns and have abs like a depression era washer board. This isn’t about us. (Although you should totally watch out for Shanna, she defiantly has the herp.)

Wait, what? You don’t believe me? I need to fucking prove myself to the hottest, best fuck in the tri-state area? Fine, I’ll prove myself, but only because you’re fucking gorgeous. In the future Taco Bell tacos will use Doritos for taco shells and KFC sandwiches will use chicken instead of bread. Both are fucking rad but be careful, I don’t want you ruining that tight ass of yours. Oh, also, they REALLY like skinny jeans here. You’re gonna look like a chick but you gotta stay ahead of that fashion curve, bro.

I’m writing this because I know you’re about to give up on Rian Johnson. I know. The Brothers Bloom kinda sucks. Just as I know you got a raging man-boner for Johnson after Brick and you’re wondering if Bloom erases Brick. It doesn’t. But, even better, Johnson is going to direct this super rad film named Looper. You’re gonna fucking love it.

It’ll be hard to believe when I describe it but the plot involves 3rd Rock Tommy wearing makeup to look like John McClain. BECAUSE THEY’RE THE SAME DUDE!!!!! I know!!! Trippy, right? John McClain is all, “Fuck the future, it sucks. I’m gonna go back in time so I can ball more broads.” But 3rd Rock Tommy has to kill his older self to live. I KNOW!!!! You totally have a chubby reading this. I TOTALLY HAVE A CHUBBY WRITING THIS!!!

Because none of this would be nearly as radical without Johnson’s direction. He’s kind of a dark dude, that’s why the Brothers Bloom didn’t work. It was too cutesy for his nior-like sensibilities. Looper thrives on that dark shit while being WAY more audience friendly than Brick. This is, essentially, Johnson’s swing at the big leagues and, brother, he knocks it out of the park. He does this by employing one of the oldest tricks in a director’s playbook: giving the audience what they need instead of what they want.

You’re gonna hear a lot of your DudeFriendBros complaining about how it isn’t, “action oriented” and “has too many plot holes.” And, technically, they’re right. There isn’t THAT much action, but there’s enough to be entertained, tons of blood. Plus, yes, if you do think too hard about the time travel shit things start to unravel. But Looper isn’t about that. It’s a fucking glorious character study set to explosions.

I mean, it’s happening to you right now. Older DudeBro talking to Younger DudeBro, what would you say to me, yourself? What would I say to younger you/me? (Seriously, bro, Shanna has herpes.)

It’s a rich damn idea that gets plenty of exploration, along with another radical theme about killing Hitler. Seriously, Johnson is a great director. Don’t give up on the dude just because he made a single boring film.

And stay classy you beautiful mother fucker,

Future Dudebro.

Grade: Future A!