My body. My pad. My ride. My family. My church. My girls. My porn. These are the lines that Jon speaks to describe all the items in his life that are important to him. Yes, the porn indeed! Jon is called Don Jon by his friends due to his incredible way with girls. And by way, I mean the way he can sleep with a different girl seemingly everyday of the week.
This all changes (well, sort of), when he meets Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson with a distinct New Jersey accent). What starts off as a project in trying to get laid with Barbara becomes a full blown relationship. Jon finds himself in a position willing to give up hanging out with his friends, giving up his old lifestyle all because Barbara asks him too. Barbara catches him one night with “his porn”, finds it absolutely disgusting and is about to walk out. Jon convinces her it’s not his, a friend just sent it over. He tries to give it up, but is unable to. Upon doing one of the things he agrees to (in the most hilarious manner), he has a run-in with what seems like a crying crazy woman in the form of Julianne Moore. She, in many ways, is the opposite of Barbara Sugarman. Real, honest, and most of all, interested in getting to know what makes Jon tick.
Joseph Gordon Levitt plays a completely different character than he has in the past. To be blunt, there is nothing likeable or redeemable about Jon or his family. His dad, played by Tony Danza (completely in his element here), is addicted to football and insists on watching it during dinner. His sister never says a word and never leaves playing or looking at her phone. But Don Jon being his first film directed and written by him, Levitt pushes and challenges himself to play a character that none of us have ever seen him play. It is refreshing and hilarious at the same time.
What’s nice about Don Jon is that it’s not just a simple story about Don Jon getting his business on, but that Jon actually takes away something from his experience and learns from it. Sometimes you could feel that Don Jon had the paths of two different Jon’s juxtaposed with one another – one where he is with Esther (Julianne Moore), and the other when he’s with Barbara (Scarlett Johansen).
Due to the way Levitt creatively scripted and filmed Don Jon, it is hilarious and fun at the same time, even for those people who normally dislike raunchy movies (that would be me, even though I give them a try). An R-rated film for those who love the raunchiness and filth that only the crazy talent that Joseph Gordon Levitt can bring.
Considering this is Levitt’s first screenplay and first experience directing, Don Jon is an ultimate success. It is hilarious and outrageous how far Don Jon manages to go, with every character being somewhat of a caricature, but not totally out of reach. It showcases his ability to write a great and unique screenplay, and after finishing Don Jon, I for one am looking forward to see what comes from the brains of Levitt and his creative team.
If you can handle raunchy films, check out Don Jon. You might even find yourself liking it. 4 hail marys / 5 hail marys
Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Screenplay: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Release Date: September 27, 2013
Actors: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly, Brie Larson
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