Title: Don Jon (2013)
Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Runtime: 90 minutes
I love porn!
There, I said it.
There is a plethora of different types and styles of pornography out there so that one can never grow tired of it. That notion is where we get Don Jon. A hot, little, Italian guy, in the vein of the Jersey Shore cast, gets all the “pooty-tang” a straight man could want. Yet, he still turns to porn, multiple times a day, and even after sex.
He doesn’t get satisfaction from intercourse, but rather from watching the “perfection” of it all being broadcast onto his laptop. In a world of one-night stands, it’s fine to find solace on the laptop. But what happens when a relationship comes into play?
That’s what Don Jon tries to focus on, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a rather fine job of not only directing, but also delivering a solid script as the writer. Plus, he stars in the film, and gives his usual solid performance, once again proving to be one of the most talented young actors around.
Don Jon isn’t just about being a porn addict: it’s also about finding ones place, and realizing what really matters is not just a relationship, but daily life. The film is mostly filled with interesting characters. The exceptions to this are his friends, who are just fake, carbon copies of Don Jon himself, and despite a scene near the end, never become anything more than that.
The ladies, of course, steal the show here. Scarlett Johansson plays the romantic interest and, my God, is she sexy. Hell, I didn’t even recognize her at first and had to look up who this hot girl was! We also get Julianne Moore, who has a small but well-balanced role in the film. Moore’s character feels very innocent despite being an older woman.
The biggest surprise for me was Tony Danza, who plays Don Jon’s father, Don Sr., and has a rather foul mouth on him. Seeing Tony Micelli from Who’s the Boss cuss up a storm definitely adds to the humor. While doing some random research on the film, I discovered that Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Danza have an interesting past from way back in the day. This is a great link to an interview with Danza about his role in Don Jon that is definitely worth a read.
At its heart, Don Jon is a romantic comedy for the modern-day audience. I didn’t find it all that funny, but instead, found it interesting. I much prefer the second half of the film to the first half because it becomes more than just a typical RomCom. It has a few flaws; mainly a moment near the end featuring Rob Brown in a poorly done scene, (no fault on Brown’s part, I’m sure) but it just shows that Joseph Gordon-Levitt still has room to grow as a writer and director.
Do I regret not seeing Don Jon in the theater? Not really. It won’t be in my top ten list of 2013, but it’s altogether a solid film, and a great starting point for Levitt to expand into the role of writer and director.
Don Jon releases on DVD and Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox on Tuesday, December 31st, 2013.
Chris was raised on horror films, which gave him a deep love for the genre, especially its most quirky and offbeat titles (like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2). This love quickly turned into an obsession for cinema in 1997, when he decided he needed to see every major theatrical release. Video games (JRPGs), reading (anything but fantasy), and reality television (Survivor) are just some of his other passions. He’s been with Cinefessions since 2013, and has been writing reviews all over the internet for the past twelve years.
Good review Chris. Can’t say it was a perfect movie, but JGL still impressed me here. So much so that I can’t wait to see what he has planned for us next.
Nice review, one that I fully agree with. It wasn’t an excellent film, but it was a perfectly decent debut film from one hell of a talented artist.