Movie Review: Don Jon

M 20 Writer/Director Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in Relativity

M 20 Writer/Director Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in Relativity Media's "Don Jon". Photo credit: Daniel McFadden �2013 Relativity Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. (Credit: Daniel McFadden)

Written, directed and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Don Jon is surprisingly not just about a guy’s addiction to porn. Hopefully, this film will kick start Gordon-Levitt’s writing and directing career.

Jon Martello (Gordon-Levitt) is your average Jersey guy. He objectifies everything in his life, including women. His friends call him Don Jon because of his ‘ability’ to pull in ‘10s’ every night at the club. His addiction to porn essentially ruins his chances of having a real relationship. However, when he meets Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johanssen) he decides to give it a shot. But he won’t give up his porn, as sex in real life just isn’t the same.

Meanwhile, Sugarman has her own agenda, molding Jon into her little puppet, and hopefully, baby-maker. She makes him work to get in her pants, to which he obliges because she’s the best he’s ever seen. She also convinces him to take night classes to get his degree. While there, he meets Esther (Julianne Moore), who tries to be his friend, but he’s too pre-occupied with his girl and his porn.

Through his relationships with Sugarman and Esther, Jon sees the bigger picture and realizes there’s more to life and love.

Tony Danza is fantastic as Jon’s father, while Brie Larson is great as Jon’s sister, who’s only lines in the film are when she weighs on his relationship disaster with Sugarman. Gordon-Levitt’s outbursts while he is driving are what draws in half the laughs. 

Though some may feel that this film should have stayed at Sundance, I believe that it has just enough heart and seriousness to make it on the big screen. In fact, it will probably gain a cult following at some point.

I think what really makes the film is the realness. The characters are real, the conversations are real, the stories are real. How many guys are lying to their bros about ‘how crazy’ their exes are? How many women actually believe that men need to ‘change’ for them because they love them? Exactly. Since there’s not really much else out right now, I say give it a shot. You won’t be disappointed.

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