Don Jon (2013) Review

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Don Jon (2013)

Directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Starring:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Scarlett Johansson
Julianne Moore
Rob Brown
Glenne Headly
Brie Larson
Tony Danza

Running time: 90 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)

Italian American Jon Martello (Gordon-Levitt) is a modern day Don Juan, with a short list of things he cares about: “my body, my pad, my ride, my family, my church, my boys, my girls, my porn”. Although he has an active sex life with women he meets at nightclubs, he looks at pornography on the Internet habitually, preferring it to sex.

But one night while clubbing, he meets Barbara Sugarman (Johansson). Will she be the one to make Jon care more about a real live girl than his precious porn? (That bit via me)

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My Opinion:

This is an odd one – I’m not sure how to go about reviewing it. Great directing effort from Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I like JGL so wanted to see how he’d done with this film and I think he did a good job as both director and star of the film. Did I like the film? Not sure. It’s a decent enough film but one I can’t relate to in ANY way, shape or form.

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The characters in this movie are, well, not the type of people I’ve ever known in my life. They lead a totally different lifestyle to mine and care about completely different things to what I care about. I’m assuming they’re a little like those on Jersey Shore? Well, I’ve never watched that and don’t plan to. EVER. Being so self-absorbed & all that sleeping around & watching football & going to church once a week to tell the priest dude that you’ve w#*ked to porn 35 times in one week…?? Not to sound like a prude but I can’t relate to ANY of that. Is this what people in New Jersey do? Maybe I’m too Midwestern. πŸ˜‰

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So Jon w#*ks to porn in this movie. A LOT. I liked all the crumpled up tissues in the trash throughout this. (TMI?). His sister is ALWAYS typing on her phone in EVERY scene, even while in church. This I loved and, as I figured from the start, the sister would prove the wisest of them all. Best character in the film. Don Jon’s family were also quite likeable – his mom was great and Tony Danza was perfect as his dad. But I always wonder if people go up to him in real life and sing “Hold me closer, Tony Danza!” ever since Phoebe on Friends thought that’s what Elton John was singing. I bet Tony Danza finds that annoying when people do that. You know they must. I totally would.

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Scarlett Johansson – these are the main characters and they’re the ones who are the hardest to like. So, obviously, this movie is about whether or not JGL’s Jon can change his ways and, without giving too much away, he does become a bit more likeable by the end of the film. Johansson? Well, she’s good in the role and it was probably quite fun playing such a psycho hose beast… Then there was the quite unexpected Julianne Moore role. I won’t say what her exact role was but it really wasn’t what I was expecting. She’s good in this but, well… It’s just a bit odd. That’s all I’ll say. Not sure I bought the ending of the film. It was a satisfying enough conclusion but, all in all, I’m not sure what point the film is trying to make beyond “meaningful sex is better than lots of meaningless sex”? Well, duh. Or “Girls have unrealistic expectations thanks to sappy romance movies & guys have unrealistic expectations thanks to porn movies”? Well, duh. I did think they needed to show Johansson going through as many tissues while watching her sappy romance movies as JGL does while watching his porn… (TMI?)

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Summary:

A good effort from Joseph Gordon-Levitt both directing the film & starring as the churchgoing porn-addict lunkhead Jon Martello from New Jersey. The main characters are hard to like but some fun supporting characters, especially Jon’s family, help make up for this a bit. The moral of the story feels a bit pointless as it’s something we all surely know? Overall, I’m not exactly sure what the point of the film was but it’s an entertaining enough way to spend 90 minutes. But if you really want to watch some sort of sex addiction movie, Shame is much better (and far more raunchy, if that’s your kind of thing).

My Rating: 7/10

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34 thoughts on “Don Jon (2013) Review

  1. Good review. I can’t relate to any of these characters either,but I’m glad to read that JGL does a good directorial job with this. Will be seeing this for him and Scarlet Johansson Great now everytime I hear that song in Almost Famous. I’m going to start singing Hold me Closer Tony Danza

    • Thanks. πŸ™‚ And… Hehe… Sorry I’ve ruined a great moment in Almost Famous for you. πŸ˜‰ I had a similar moment in real life when in high school we all sang a Bon Jovi song on the bus together and for those couple of minutes we all liked each other. The moment was only ruined by the fact that it was a Bon Freaking Jovi song…

  2. Good review. I actually didn’t like many characters in this either, but it somehow still worked for me. There was a bit of heart in it. The writing and concept is a bit shallow, true. But in my eyes, JGL can do no wrong. πŸ˜€

    • Thanks! And, yay – we agree! But I think we do most of the time. πŸ™‚ Yeah, I think JGL did a good job with this & I’d certainly be interested in seeing him direct more films…

  3. It wasn’t a perfect directorial debut, however, it was still an impressive one that makes me wonder what JGL the director has up his sleeves next. Most likely something good, but until then, this is what we have to work with so far. Nice review.

  4. Nice work, Mutant! Not one that I’m likely to see any time soon –

    And yes no one acts like this where we come from – crazy yankees!!!

    • Thanks. πŸ™‚ It’s a hard one to know whether you should recommend it to people or not. It’s certainly not a “bad” movie. “Different” is a good word to describe it…

  5. Pingback: Short Term 12 (2013) Review | Cinema Parrot Disco

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