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DON JON (review)

don_jon_ver2DON JON
Written and Directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Tony Danza and Julianne Moore
 

Jon Martello: Real pussy is all good but I’m sorry, it’s not as good as porn.

Sometimes I wonder if Joseph Gordon-Levitt may just be the coolest guy on the planet. After seeing DON JON, his directorial debut that he also wrote and stars in, you too may be asking yourself the same question. While the film isn’t likely to be a major awards draw, it demonstrates very clearly that Gordon-Levitt understands quite well how to make an engaging, contemporary film that is mindful of both its audience’s intelligence and their expectations. It’s a fine line between honesty and commercialism and Gordon-Levitt walks it with style.

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Gordon-Levitt is DON JON, a modern day Don Juan, who gets the girls more often than not, but no matter how impressive his conquests are, they are no match for his one true love, pornography. Jon has an addiction, one I dare say a great deal of other people likely have as well. And like all those other people, he doesn’t see his interaction with porn, and the control it exudes over him, as problematic. Nor does he see how the habits he’s formed surrounding the act of watching it (he gets an erection every time he hears the sound his Mac makes when it turns on), are preventing him from getting truly close to another human being. This poses a particular problem to Jon when he meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson, complete with hoop earrings and constant gum-smacking, to fit her Jersey girl character). She is the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen but even she isn’t enough to get him off the porn.

DON JON

Gordon-Levitt’s debut shows us both his playful side and his serious side as well. There are plenty of laughs to be had in DON JON but addiction isn’t a joke at the end of the day. The fact that Gordon-Levitt can see both sides of this particular coin and blend the two so seamlessly, bodes very well for an already promising career on both sides of the camera.

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Your turn!

How many sheep would you give Don Jon?

2 Comments

  1. This was an excellent directorial debut for Joe. I did have some issues with the film, but for the most part enjoyed it well enough. I found myself surprisingly distracted by some of the camera work which was mostly good, but occasionally technically flawed (some soft focus issues, unintentional shakes, etc).

    My only real issue with the story was Jon’s revelation at the end. Without spoiling anything, I found that conclusion a bit of a leap and I didn’t feel the transition to it was very convincing. But I still enjoyed the film very much. It’s brash honesty and JGL’s willingness to put himself ‘out there’ in such a fashion deserves some level of respect for sure.

    Liked Scarlett a lot. She nailed her part nicely. Danza was inspired casting, although it would have been great to see something of him at the end sharing his son’s new outlook as his character could have had a bit of an arc as well.

    Looking forward to more films from JGL – he’s a super talented guy and has a great career ahead of him if he wants it.

  2. i thought SJ was the weakest performance here…even the gum chewing was inconsistent and i couldn’t believe her at all. otherwise, i agree with the criticism of flawed camera work, but also the compliments for heart and style. looking forward to seeing more of JGL, total triple threat.

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