Movie Review: Don Jon

By Stephen Rebello

<p>Joseph Gordon-Levitt's new film establishes him as a highly promising triple threat.<br></p>

Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Rating: R

Studio: Voltage Pictures

Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore

Don Jon is a 30ish working-class New Jersey barman who prides himself on keeping his apartment shipshape, his ride fully detailed, his family close, his clubbing frequent, his religion compartmentalized and his body gym-ripped. An avowed horndog, Don has no problem bedding hot chicks nightly, but what’s a stud to do when flesh and blood women can’t compete with the internet porn queens with whom he’s obsessed? Seriously obsessed, as in needing to masturbate at the very least three times a day, as he dutifully and endlessly confesses in repetitive voiceover narration to us—and to his parish priest in the confessional box. Even when he meets and falls for a “dime,” a stacked, sexy, rom com–loving beauty he and his barhopping buds rate as a perfect 10, he sneaks out of the hot sheets of their bed to hit the computer, his erotic fantasies and the ever-ready Kleenex box.

Luckily, Scarlett Johansson plays the dime with sass, savvy and heart and the eponymous hero is played with insight, killer charm and pathos by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who also wrote the screenplay and makes a highly promising triple-threat debut. Although it doesn’t always hit its marks, credit Don Jon for being ballsy, pacey, very funny, entertaining and, eventually, about something. Enter Julianne Moore (a sad, funny performance) as the older, wiser woman, a melancholy night school student who (too quickly and none-too-convincingly) shocks and shames the hero into the beginnings of adulthood. Tony Danza and Glenne Headley are also enjoyable as Gordon-Levitt’s parents, even in stereotypical blue-collar roles played and written like they could have stepped out of Saturday Night Fever, as is Don Jon himself.

All in all, if you’re on the fence about seeing Gordon-Levitt’s light, surprising Don Jon, we say go ahead, pleasure yourself.


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