Don Jon is Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s baby from start to finish. It’s his, in the same way that Argo was Ben Affleck’s. Gordon-Levitt writes, directs, and stars in this movie, and he is stellar in each of these roles. This movie is engaging, entertaining, and reels you right in.
The plot is simple, yet not exactly. Jon is a young Jersey guy who is addicted to porn. No biggie, though, because “every guy watches porn every day, and if he tells you he doesn’t, he’s lying”. Okay, so Jon is deep into porn, and if you’re squeamish about seeing a little skin, then maybe this isn’t the movie for you. But it’s not anything too much more than Miley Cyrus twerking on the MTV Video Music Awards show. In other words, there are images of a sexual nature that flash by, but nothing too X-rated. Jon’s got the porn addiction, and his dating habits are, shall we say, casual. Casual, that is, until he meets Barbara, played by the very sexy and plump-lipped Scarlett Johansson. She is outstanding in this role, as she is in most every project she takes on. And there’s also Julianne Moore, the older (duh) woman who plays a key part in the story.
Joe is great in this film. The storyline is engaging, he’s totally credible as a New Jersey greaser, and his supporting cast, including Tony Danza and Glenne Headly, help glue it all together.
The movie unfolds in pretty much three distinct segments, with music, pacing and cinematography to match. If you choose to view the “Extras” on the DVD, you’ll hear more about that.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of the most versatile actors working today. Maybe you remember him from the TV show Third Rock from the Sun, or you were drawn to some dark underbelly in Mysterious Skin, charmed by 500 Days of Summer, got your heart rate up in Inception, or found him in some touching, vulnerable place in 50/50. There’s also, of course, an earlier indie, Brick, and the sci-fi-ish action flick Looper. For pure entertainment value, I really liked him as the bicycle messenger guy in Premium Rush.
But back to Don Jon. This movie is well-made and also very entertaining. The treatment is a little thin, but who cares when you can see great actors work with interesting material and take on a topical issue. Top of the line rental. – [DVD] [Blu-Ray]
DVD Release Date: 12/31/13