First Hit: What a delightful, funny and well-acted film which explores a form of sex addiction.
Porn is one of the most important things to Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). The often repeated essential things in his life are: his family, friends, body, car, his girls, and porn.
He likes to masturbate to internet porn. He likes it better than being with a woman because he loses himself in porn. His friends call him “Don” (like an Italian family head) because when he goes out to bars he always takes home an 8 or above (8 out of 10 – aka “dime”) girl.
When they’re in a bar, they stand around and rate women on a 1 – 10 scale then dare each other to move in. One evening he sees a “dime”. Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) is a knockout and Jon is blown away. He tries to hustle her home that night, but she refuses and says, I’m not ready yet.
Jon decides to take his time; a first for him, and woo her. He takes her to chick flicks, buys her dinner, and starts to take college classes because she wants him to. He meets her family and she his, so everyone is on board for a long term romance. All the while every day, multiple times each day, he gets off on porn. On the evening she decides to give it up to him, he gets up while she sleeps and goes into another room to view to get off on porn.
Barbara catches him and he tries to lie himself out of this dilemma. He promises her he won’t do it again. As their relationship grows it gets harder for him to hide his addiction. When she discovers through his computer’s internet history (love that he didn’t know that browser history is automatically kept) she ends the relationship.
One of the best scenes in the film is when his sister Monica (Brie Larson) tells him he was simply being used by Barbara – it’s her only line in the film.
Gordon-Levitt as actor, writer and director was outstanding. Although the film felt a little lost in the end, it was extremely well done and some scenes are absolutely amazing – how many hail marys and our fathers does one need to say to get salvation. Johansson was absolutely amazing. Her actions, voice, attitude were spot on powerful. I was enraptured by her character. Tony Danza as Jon Sr. was great. He captured the intense and limited world of his life. Glenne Headly as his mom Angela was very good. I loved how her life was based on when she would get a grandchild. Larson, and her one line, was fantastic.
Overall: This was a very entertaining film and Gordon-Levitt shows himself as someone with creativity and the ability to make it work both in front of and behind the camera.