I'm not entirely sure how I managed to broach the subject of porn during a conversation with Scarlett Johansson without the authorities becoming involved, but it all seems to have worked out in the end.

I hate the term "romantic comedy," because nine times out of ten, the films described with that term are neither romantic nor particularly funny. I have written before about how I feel like most studio "romantic" films sell a disturbing idea of adult relationships, and many of the characters in these films seem to have been dropped onto the Earth from somewhere else, completely untaught in the ways normal human beings behave.

"Don Jon," which was both written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, seems inordinately wise about human behavior, and in particular, I was struck by the way the film draws a direct parallel between the porn that Jon (Gordon-Levitt) watches non-stop and the romantic comedies that Barbara (Johansson) invests in so fully. In both cases, the film argues, the person who watches is giving themselves unrealistic expectations, and they use the entertainment in place of real life instead of working to find something genuine that will fulfill them.

It may not be an entirely original idea, but I can't think of another film that makes the point this way, or that makes the point so well. In general, I think the way most people watch movies is as a distraction, as something occasional that allows them to escape from their lives for a moment. I may think about movies constantly and write about them all the time, but I acknowledge that not everyone gives them that much head space. And for some people, movies are more than entertainment, more than art, and something that is absolutely part of who they are and how they define themselves, and "Don Jon" makes some great points about the danger of that.

Talking to Johansson and Gordon-Levitt, you can't help but see how much they love what they're doing these days, and they both know this one came out well, that it's something special.

You can check out my review of the movie, and then see it for yourself when it opens on September 27, 2013.