Don Jon – Review
Starring Joseph Gordon Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore and Tony Danza, the first thing you discover about Don Jon is that first time director, writer and actor of this film Levitt hits you right between the eyes from the onset with the film’s thematic subject; addicted to sex or addicted to porn.
Levitt plays Don and he moves his central character through the film very adroitly, navigating fresh new conversational terrain here on the already much fully explored sex subject between adults. With the right mix of smart comedy, contemporary dialog and credible interplay between characters, Don Jon surprised me quite a bit, and even more so through its evolutionary plot turn in the second half that frankly was mature, sincere and dramatically honesty.
Overall, the plot of the film delves into Don’s daily life and by his own words an insatiable desire for sex, which he quietly keeps to himself as the more preferable method of self pleasuring from watching porn on his laptop. Don of course still takes all of the typical steps of going to clubs to meet women with his good looks and witty pick up lines; so conquering beautiful women at his leisure is not a problem. It’s once he has secured ‘their love” as in the case of the Johansson’s more demanding character named Barbara he still seems to prefer pleasuring himself through what he feels is the more honest and satisfying sex by viewing porn.
The film moves at a good solid pace for 93 minutes delving into issues of pressures by family members to settle down, running buddies who don’t want him to, a series of creative playful scenes of being absolved from his sins through the Catholic faith, an ironic twist on male neatness and fastidiousness and of course the importance some men place on having porn in their life. Frankly, Levitt could have stretched this film’s plot out a bit further possibly making his comedy drama mix into something uniquely special about men’s perspective on sex. But in the end, Levitt’s clever screenplay is about how some people reach their sexual maturity through influences big and small, with familiar friends and circles or sometimes simply random and coincidental.
Don Jon is not without its faults as there are a few flat characters included in the film that seem to offer noting to the story. I also was confused a few times as to what was the intention of a few scenes were, as the dialog flow moved from something being very funny and then suddenly turning into a perplexing dramatic moment leaving me to wonder should I be laughing or not.
In the end for his first time directing effort Actor Joseph Gordon Levitt manages to show real promise in his ability to write and direct smart quality films in the future.
3 -1/4 Stars