There is no denying that Joseph Gordon Levitt has been growing his presence in Hollywood and now he’s gotten his opportunity to write and direct, and he’s decided to take that opportunity and make a movie where the main character is ripped out of everyone’s favorite section of humanity, the Jersey shore. Also he’s obsessed with his body, his family, his house and his porn. Yes, for his writing and directorial debut, Joseph Gordon Levitt has written a character for himself that everyone who isn’t one of those types of people blatantly hates. What could go wrong?
Jon, or as his friend call him “The Don” because of all the tail he gets, seems to find the first girl he would ever want a relationship with in Scarlett Johansson’s Barbara Sugarman. The only thing she asks of him is that he never watches porn, since it’s filthy and disgusting and no one should ever look at that trash. What results is a story dealing with an addiction that has only appeared in the internet age, porn.
Whether he has gone through it himself or knows someone who has, Joseph Gordon Levitt masterfully captures the mind of an non chemically addicted person. You aren’t meant to laugh at Jon’s addiction, but understand and sympathise with him. This isn’t the story of a man who meets a girl that opens up his world, but a man who doesn’t understand his addiction and, even though the alternative is great, sees no reason to give it up.
Jon is one of the most realistic characters I’ve seen in a comedy. His journey is one of natural growth and personal change, which is a pleasant diversion from the sugar coated crap we’re usually force fed at the movies, and while I can enjoy sugar, when you get something real like Don Jon you remember why there is a difference between good and great. You can write fun characters and funny situations, but it takes some truly talented to bring us into someone’s life.
Movie trailers have gotten so bad these days that if you don’t know the entire plot of the movie, you’ve seen every joke it has to offer. Don Jon, like The World’s End earlier this summer, proved its comedic prowess when every joke in the trailer not only landed in the movie itself, but was even funnier in context. It also showed clear restraint in, being a movie about porn, having very little of the humor be incredibly raunchy.
Don Jon does what I haven’t seen a romantic comedy do since (500) Days of Summer, give you a movie that is still clearly in genre, but completely refreshing and different from everything else out there. Joseph Gordon Levitt did what I never thought anyone could ever do, make me care about a character that is one of those douchebags everyone hates. Joseph Gordon Levitt has been one of my favorite actors for several years now and Don Jon proves that he is much more talented than everyone has given him credit for. Go see this movie.
In Theaters: September 27, 2013
Runtime: 90 min
Rating: Rated R for strong graphic sexual material and dialogue throughout, nudity, language and some drug use
Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Distributor: Relativity Media
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DonJonMovie