Review: Don Jon
I haven’t done one of these in a while; but I could not pass up sharing what I thought about Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s feature length writing/directorial debut. Not to mention it is the first film to come out from HitRecord, which is the production lovechild of JGL. Natalia and I went to a screening last night and here are my thoughts on the movie.
Click past the jump to read the review.
Let’s sum up the premise before we go into detail. Don Jon is about a porn addictive man who spends his life going from woman to woman. The titular character’s world begins to change when he runs into Barbara Sugarman (played by Scarlett Johansson). How will Jon adapt and integrate the new woman in his life?
Let’s find out!
First and foremost, I should mention that a lot of graphical images are on-screen throughout the movie. A lot of naked bodies and implied sex; so if that’s not your thing then maybe move along. The great thing about everything that I just mentioned is that it usually occurs when Jon is talking about his porn. Whenever he actually has sex (which is still a lot); there’s hardly any nudity and subdued which goes to the movie’s argument of “fantasy versus reality.”
After that, but not far after, Don Jon is a hilarious movie. The movie uses good use of sight and sound gags to keep the movie moving at a brisk pace. Every time a certain electronic tone sounded; the audience began laughing almost as if there were a big neon sign. We knew what was coming but still laughed when it happened. Even the previously mentioned porn played to the humor. Porn may be humorous but the way it was cut into the movie made it enjoyable in a way that porn was not normally intended for.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performance as Jon proved that even dis-likeable characters can be likeable. Natalia mentioned to me a couple of times that she couldn’t believe that an actor she likes so much could play someone who was such a douche bag. But there was humor in the audacity and gall that Jon would have. Jon is a very selfish person and JGL plays it very well. I don’t believe I have ever seen JGL contort his face is so many ways. Although I will say that one time it took me out of a scene that was probably not meant as funny. The movie gives us a lot of head-on shot of Jon but none are as hilarious as his straight face when he watches porn or when he is in a confessional each Sunday.
On top of a great lead, the supporting cast was amazing. In only a handful of scene; Tony Danza stole a big chunk of the film. Natalia and I could not help but talk about the creep factor of our favorite housekeeper. Scarlett Johansson’s Barbara Sugarman was the epitome of that pretty princess girl, thinking all should adore her. I could not help but feel grateful that I was not in a relationship with her.
All in all; Don Jon was an enjoyable film. The pacing feels a bit weird at points, especially the end which felt abrupt. The humor and heart the movie left us was more than enough to enjoy. I hope to see more writing and directing from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the production company, HitRecord.
Too Long; Didn’t Read
Don Jon is an enjoyable and fun ride. The film shows the hilarious nature porn can have on a man and how he can grow up. An excellent first writing/directing outing from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and HitRecord.
Not to mention a lot of references to PornHub.