Movie Review: "Don Jon"

Sep 27 2013, 3:24am CDT | by ABC News Radio

Movie Review: "Don Jon"
Photo Credit: ABC News Radio

Relativity Media, LLC(NEW YORK) -- Joseph Gordon-Levitt is good. He's really good.
 
Don Jon is Gordon-Levitt’s debut as writer, director and star of his very own film, and for a guy who has both indie and blockbuster cred, the subject matter is extraordinarily risqué. If done incorrectly, it may well have derailed this former child TV star’s excellent career.
 
Good thing Mr. Gordon-Levitt did it right.
 
Gordon-Levitt plays Jon Martello, a studly Italian Jersey boy who tends bar, talks smack with his pals and beds a different girl every night. But his real passion is pleasuring himself while watching Internet porn. He's insatiable, something we learn as we’re treated (mistreated?) to scenes of Jon enjoying himself to quick cuts of actual porn (or at least, the kind that’s safe enough for an R-rated move).  In Jon’s mind, porn wins over actual sex every time. He’s an addict but, of course, he doesn’t think so.
 
Jon, by the way, is meticulous, as addicted to keeping himself fit and his apartment neat and clean as he is to keeping the porn bookmarks on his Web browser organized.  He also attends church regularly, where confesses his sins -- including his obsession with porn -- and has regular dinners with his colorful family.  Tony Danza plays his tough-talking, blue-collar dad, Glenne Headly is Jon's wistful mom who just wants her son to settle down, and Brie Larson is Jon's silent, always-listening-to-her-MP3-player younger sister, Monica, who we learn is actually paying a lot more attention to things than she appears to be.
 
So where’s the conflict?  Her name is Barbara Sugarman, played to sexy, manipulative perfection by Scarlett Johansson, who's also nailed the Jersey accent. Jon notices Barbara at his bar, but she isn’t instantly consumed by his charms, as every other woman on planet New Jersey seems to be. Barbara makes out with Jon but refuses go home with him and doesn’t even give him her number.  
 
Jon is suddenly rendered average, but he's intrigued.  He does what so many people do these days when they have amorous feelings towards a virtual stranger.  He asks around, finds out who she is -- and then stalks her on Facebook. Perfect.
 
The strategy works, but Barbara isn’t giving it up anytime soon. Jon's going to have to work for it, which means he’s going to have to develop feelings and fall prey to Barbara's anachronistic, over-the-top, smothering ideas about love. She wants to change everything about Jon. She even convinces him to go back to school to get a business degree, which is where Jon meets Julianne Moore’s flaky Esther, a sexy older woman who may or may not change his myopic world view.
 
Oh yeah -- Jon is still addicted to porn, and that's going to be a problem.
 
Let’s state the obvious: Don Jon is a most unconventional romantic comedy. What’s not so obvious is it’s also one of the most relevant romantic comedies you’ll ever see. Gordon-Levitt delivers insightful social satire on love and relationships in a time when the Internet has birthed an era of unprecedented self-absorption and willingness to share personal information.  
 
We already knew he was a great actor. With Don Jon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt shows us he's also a promising director, and a talented writer with a knack for dialogue that's simple, yet smart and poetic.  Well done.
 
Four out of five stars.
 
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>

Source: ABC News Radio

 
 
 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 Facts
Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 Facts
Everything you need to know about the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014.
 
 
The Best Photos of All Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 Models
The Best Photos of All Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 Models
The sexiest runway show took place in London on Dec. 2. The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 was for the first time in Europe. The show will air on CBS December 9. See already now the hottest photos of all 45 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 models.
 
 
Fire TV is $69 in Amazon Cyber Monday Deal
Fire TV is $69 in Amazon Cyber Monday Deal
Amazon will offer the $69 Fire TV deal on Cyber Monday afternoon.
 
 
The Black Friday 2014 Sales You can Shop Today 11/26
The Black Friday 2014 Sales You can Shop Today 11/26
Over 20 Black Friday 2014 sales are already launched. Get the deals early to get your head free for the hard to get Black Friday deals to be released on Thanksgiving Day.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Australian researcher discovers first artwork by early human
Sydney, Dec 4 (IANS) An Australian researcher has discovered what is believed to be the first artwork created by a human. The simple zigzag pattern found on a fossilized shell from the Indonesian island of Java has...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Insects compete with rats to clear garbage
New York, Dec 4 (IANS) Insects play a very important role in cleaning up cities and they compete with other pests like rats and pigeons in their endeavour, a study has said. Scientists sampled arthropods - such as...
Read more on Business Balla
 
School headmaster shot dead in Pakistan
Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) Unidentified gunmen Thursday killed the headmaster of a private school in Pakistan's Balochistan province. Police officials said the armed men opened fire at the vehicle of Zahid Ali,...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Four more bodies recovered from sunken South Korean ship
Seoul, Dec 4 (IANS) Four more bodies were recovered Thursday from a sunken South Korean fishing ship in the Bering Sea, the foreign ministry here said. This increased the toll to 16, including six South Koreans and 10...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Lesbian couple asked to desist in London restaurant
London, Dec 4 (IANS) A lesbian couple in a London restaurant was asked to desist by a staff member, who asked them to "stop what you are doing". Lydia Cawson, 29, said that she and her girlfriend were asked by a staff...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Oxford Dictionaries to add 1,000 new words
London, Dec 4 (IANS) 'Mamil' (middle-aged man in Lycra), 'silvertail' (a person who is socially prominent or who displays social aspirations) and 'crony capitalism' are among the 1,000 new words to be added to...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Oceans play key role in global 'warming hiatus'
London, Dec 4 (IANS) Increased heat uptake across three oceans - North Atlantic, the Southern Ocean and Equatorial Pacific Ocean - is the likely cause of the 'warming hiatus' -- the current decade-long slowdown in...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Novel imaging to identify if TB drugs are working
Washington, Dec 4 (IANS) Tuberculosis patients who are not cured of the infection can develop multi-drug resistant TB and have to take as many as six drugs for two years. Now, researchers at University of Pittsburgh...
Read more on Business Balla
 
PM makes first appointment to High Court of Australia
Canberra, Dec 4 (IANS) Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government Thursday appointed former Victorian Supreme Court judge Geoffrey Nettle as the next Justice of the High Court of Australia. Attorney General George...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
18 suspected militants killed in Pakistan airstrikes
Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) At least 18 suspected militants were killed Thursday in airstrikes conducted by Pakistan Air Force fighter jets in North Waziristan. According to officials, the airstrikes were conducted in...
Read more on Politics Balla