Joseph Gordon-Levitt has exploded on the scene since starring in Inception. Adding to his list of accomplishments is writer/director of Don Jon. I’m usually leery of movies where the creative force behind it is one person, let alone one that’s new to most of it. My apprehension was completely unfounded, Don Jon was amazing. Oh, SPOILERS all over the place.
JGL’s Jon is a media stereotypical Italian New Yorker. He cares about his body, his pad, his car, his family, his church, his boys, his girls, and his porn. Jon is addicted to porn, needing to masturbate several times a day, even after having sex. Soon he starts dating Scarlett Johansson, who begins to control and change him.
Easily the standout of the movie was Johansson, who not only had the accent down, but the attitude as well. Even the way she turned her head to keep her hair perfect was spot on. Half the time I forgot it was her. Tony Danza plays Jon’s dad who delivered an awesome performance. It was hysterical seeing him watch football during the Sunday family dinners while both he and Jon sat in white tanktops. The arguments he had with Jon were funny and spot on.
The plot centers on Jon’s porn addiction, and as such, there’s plenty of porn clips. They were smartly edited for the movie, with different cut off or zoomed in shots. I didn’t feel like any scene in the movie was overly long, everything was cut together well, shot from great angles. The confessional scenes were fun and shot well as were the workouts.
The movie took a somewhat predictable arc with JGL and ScarJo dating and breaking up. While it wasn’t revolutionary, it was still very entertaining solely because of the performances. It was after the breakup the movie embarked on some new grounds. Julianne Moore’s character seemed odd at first. I didn’t understand why she bothered talking to Jon considering his wavering attitude with her. Despite her odd introduction, she became an interesting character in the third act.
I was really happy to see JGL and ScarJo didn’t get back together. I think my eyes would have fallen out of my head from rolling them too hard. Instead, the end of the movie was really sweet and touching. JGL and Moore together made an interesting pair, showing a type of love that’s hard to express, but wonderful experience. They were together, but not in a way you’d think. Their age difference didn’t matter, they made each other happy, enjoying the company. As Jon put it, they were lost in each other.
One of my favorite scenes was immediately after the break up. The time shift as he sat on the bed with the sheets coming more undone was creative. Not only did it show the passage of time, but how he began to not care about other things he held dear.
Don Jon is a great movie that every adult who’s ever been in a relationship should watch. Word of warning, males will field many questions from the opposite sex if viewing with them.
Who had the better performance, JGL or ScarJo? Enjoy the ending? Comment below!
A group of sloths is called a bed.