Reviews : I Give It a Year (2013) & Don Jon (2013)
“I convinced myself that we were too young and somebody better would come along, but they never did and they still haven’t. And now, every time I see you, I think, why didn’t you stop me?”
If you’re having a new relationship, you have lots of expectation for your spouse. Many times, everything looks okay on the surface. People will underestimate and think, “Yeah, I’ll give them a year.” But sure, it proves nothing. No one knows until you’ve proven it yourself by time and reality. But what if they were true?
It is Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall), the couple who have only known each other by seven months that decide to get married. Nat is a pretty and sophisticated career woman, while Josh is a writer who works at home. While they have their differences, it was never soar until the arrival of another love potentials. First is Josh’s previous girlfriend, Chloe (Anna Faris), a charity worker who moved to Africa for several years. And, second is Nat’s potential hunky client, Guy (Simon Baker). Though they tried to repress the feelings, they couldn’t help but feeling the chemistry between the other. The rest, maybe you have already guessed it.
This British romantic comedy was directed and written by Dan Mazer (Bruno, Borat), often have dry and satire jokes that might not be bold but enough to gave lots of chuckles. It might be one of underrated romantic comedy that actually is heartwarming and romantic, and tells the tale that could happen in real life. But if you’re looking for twists, it’s not one of those movies. It doesn’t sell surprises, rather than what could have been in relationships.
What makes it work undoubtedly is the chemistry. While Nat and Josh are not having the passionate chemistry, it surely was shown with their another potential love affairs. Ever since seeing her in Bridesmaids (2011), I have always suspected that Byrne might be perfect to be the female lead in a love story. Byrne, Spall, Farris and Baker was an excellent cast. Especially the sexual tension between Byrne and Baker, they were really a perfect couple. They were greatly supported by Minnie Driver as one of the parents, she was quite bold here. Also, Olivia Colman as the couple’s bitter therapist. Hardly recognize her, while I admired her in Tyrannosaur (2011).
Anna Faris though really being the most suffering character overall, since she’s technically dumped by her boyfriend by seeing him got married. Set aside by the gorgeous and thin Rose Byrne, Faris’ lack focus on her own appearance made her look like a couch potato girl. She’s one of those girls who kind to everyone and rather help others than looking after herself. I couldn’t help but noticed her unnatural lips, I hope it’s part of her character.
Simon Baker however was very charming and undeniably attractive, you’ll possibly blind if you’re not thinking that way (yes I mean, boys will think that way too). I truly can’t help but saying, “Awwww..” when he invited Nat to the meeting room and a pigeon. It’s one romantic but hilarious scene, my favorite from all.
I Give it a Year might not be as legendary as Love Actually, but was quite entertaining and warm, speaks to me as well. You might want to skip the poor trailers. Check it out for a rent, for a date movie or a cozy off day, or maybe if you fond of the leads.
Movie Score :
“If you want to lose yourself, you have to lose yourself in another person. It’s a two-way thing.”
It isn’t exactly a new thing if boys and men checking out porn these days. It become somewhat a natural thing, not something new or not even taboo. But these perception might be dangerous, especially for the knowledge of men. They are spoiled by these common assumption, which makes the values blurry. Just how many is too many?
It’s not a heavy task for a New Jersey guy like Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to pick up ladies. He’s attractive bartender and have a perfect fit body, often went for a one night stands. But he claims that those conquests can’t fulfill his needs as great as watching porn. Until he meet Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), a blond knock-out with perfect body. Barbara isn’t easy to bring to bed. She’s quite smart to ‘drag’ Jon to some dates before having sex, even make him sign up for night classes to make him a better career. Unfortunately, Jon couldn’t stop watching porn for Barbara, even after they have sex. When Barbara caught him watching it, Jon denies that he watched them and she believes him. With their meeting frequency gets higher, Jon have a hard time to watch the porn. So he take little time here and there, in between, even in one of his night classes. And his activity was caught by one of the night class student, an older woman, Esther (Julianne Moore). Unlike Barbara, Esther is more open minded and less judging on how Jon likes porn. Jon thinks the woman is hitting on her, which is he keep his distant. When the relationship between him and Barbara goes further, Jon’s parents get to meet her and thought she’s going to be Jon’s wife. But Barbara caught Jon again watching porn, so then she left Jon. That’s when Jon suddenly realized, his addiction to porn might be enjoyable to him, but a problem for his relationships.
Directed by JGL himself and produced by his own video production, Hit Records, JGL has established himself further than that clingy boy in 500 Days of Summer, by being the hot stud Jon. Levitt also have played other masculine roles in Looper, The Dark Knight Rises and Inception. Don Jon told its story more of a comedy angle, while raising a serious topic on porn addiction that today’s men might be ignoring. With an easy to follow story, confident and managed to succeed providing graphic images on porn without being vulgar. It has some dynamic video editing which help the fast story.
Of course, Jon have his own life cycle that seem to work out for him, like the quote he said early in the movie, “There’s only a few things I really care about in life. My body. My pad. My ride. My family. My church. My boys. My girls. My porn.” Interesting enough, that he watched porn in his nights but then confess it on church, as if to wash all his sins but then he do it again. The cycle goes on, and the funny thing is that the priest seem to excuse it without many consideration. It backfired and left him clueless.
Don Jon have a terrific cast; nothing looked like a challenge for Scar-Jo and Julianne Moore was an excellent addition. Tony Danza was a lovely surprise. And to me, one of the entertaining but mute-y character is Jon’s sister, Monica (Brie Larson). Jon’s two buddies was a little replaceable though.
I think Don Jon is not only focusing on guys that have unhealthy addiction to porn, but also for some women who demands to be given things constantly by her boyfriend, without reflect it to herself. Though Don Jon was entertaining and successfully catch a serious topic without being too creepy, it somehow suffers the same Hollywood recipe to have an easy turn for an ending. It’s a good debut for Joseph Gordon-Levitt and hopefully he’ll make amore outstanding films.
Movie Score :