If you haven't already seen Louis C.K.'s bit on Conan about why he won't let his daughters have cell phones, stop reading and watch it. It will remind you why comedy matters -- because when it's done well, it tells a perfect truth.
Scarlett Johansson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Don Jon
Louis starts by commenting on how we are in a constant state of distraction -- texting, tweeting, heads bent toward the phone and away from people, and that "underneath everything in your life, there's that thing, that empty, forever-empty." Between jokes he shares his own experience of being overcome by a Bruce Springsteen song and pulling over to cry. Noting his impulse to distract himself he embraces the feeling, and adds, brilliantly, "when you let yourself feel sad...happiness comes rushing in to meet the sadness."
Louis is describing the pain and joy of being present and connected to oneself. This is the first step to intimacy and is the foundation of being intimate with a partner. It has taken me a decade of therapy and therapizing to get it. Louis C.K. gets it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets it, too.
Gordon-Levitt's new film Don Jon is the story of a porn-obsessed, not-so-good Catholic boy from Jersey and his perfect-10 love interest, whose own obsession with romance blinds her to the reality of her relationship. Beneath the MTV gloss and intermittent porn montages is a sweet, thoughtful film about our terror of our own feelings and the poetry of being truly present with another person.More »