Don Jon

"Excellent"

Don Jon Review


With this writing-directing debut, Joseph Gordon-Levitt delivers a remarkably assured comedy-drama while also giving himself a role that's far against his usual type. It's raucously hilarious but also surprisingly involving as it reveals the vulnerabilities of a strutting hard-man. And we're having so much fun that we barely notice that the script's approach to addiction is somewhat simplistic.

The title character is such a dude that his friends call him "the don", in reference to New Jersey gangsters. And Jon (Gordon-Levitt) has his life figured out, with a list of things he cares for: his body, home, car, family, church, friends and girls. In that order. But above everything else, his main obsession is porn. Then while hanging with his friends Bobby and Danny (Brown and Luke) he spots Barbara (Johansson), a perfect "dime" who's worth playing the long game for. Except that she has zero tolerance for pornography, so he has to hide his addiction from her, only confessing to his parish priest and an unexpectedly sympathetic fellow student (Moore) at night school.

Like a character from Jersey Shore, Jon is such a charming loser that we can't help but love him. But despite the macho swagger and gym-honed physique, he's also deeply devoted to his parents (the fabulous Danza and Headly) and happiest when he's cleaning his flat. Gordon-Levitt wouldn't be the first actor you'd think of in this role, but he plays it perfectly, letting us see the little boy behind the tough-guy posturing and making us believe that he's fallen for the charms of this idealised woman (Johansson is simply hysterical).

Meanwhile, Gordon-Levitt directs the film in a way that catches Jon's slick flair, using split-screens and rapid-fire editing to draw us into his daily routine, complete with a witty use of soft-porn imagery to distract us (and Jon) from everything else. Dialog is packed with riotous punchlines and character detail that more than make up for the rather preachy handling of Jon's porn-addiction and lesson-learning. It's much more interesting to watch Jon confront the image of who he thinks he needs to be as opposed to who he really is. And this is what we're left thinking about after the credits roll.

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Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 27th September 2013

Box Office USA: $24.5M

Budget: $6M

Distributed by: Relativity Media

Production compaines: Ram Bergman Productions, Voltage Pictures, HitRecord Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Fresh: 145 Rotten: 34

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Jon, as Barbara, as Esther, as Jon Sr., as Angela, as Monica, as Bobby, Jeremy Luke as Danny, as Priest, as Gina, as Lauren, Amanda Perez as Lisa, Sarah Dumont as Sequins, Sloane Avery as Patricia, Loanne Bishop as Barbara's Mom, Arin Babaian as Bartender, Arielle Reitsma as Pink, as Teacher, Eva Mah as Waitress, as Supermodel in Commercial, Jason Burnham as Promoter, Johnny Ferrara as Other Driver, as Hostess, Olia Voronkova as Russian Voices, Sonni Brown as Woman in Car, Antoinette Kalaj as Feefee, Arayna Eison as Beebee, as Deedee, Elena Kim as Purple, Tanya Mityushina as White Shorts, Craig Marks as Church Parishioner, as Hollywood Actress #1, as Hollywood Actor #1, as Hollywood Actress #2, Cuba Gooding Jr. as Hollywood Actor #2, Alexis Texas as Herself (Adult Film Clip), as Herself (Adult Film Clip), Devon as Herself (Adult Film Clip), Cheyne Collins as Herself (Adult Film Clip), Aletta Ocean as Herself (Adult Film Clip), as Herself (Adult Film Clip), Jenny Hendrix as Herself (Adult Film Clip), Anita Blond as Herself (Adult Film Clip), Damien Michaels as Himself (Adult Film Clip), Tori Black as Herself (Adult Film Clip), Manuel Ferrara as Himself (Adult Film Clip), as Herself (Adult Film Clip), Mia Malkova as Herself (Adult Film Clip), Jynx Maze as Herself (Adult Film Clip), Dani Daniels as Herself (Adult Film Clip), Isis Taylor as Herself (Adult Film Clip), as Herself (Adult Film Clip), Selena Rose as Herself (Adult Film Clip), Bree Daniels as Herself (Adult Film Clip), Gia Grace as Herself (Adult Film Clip), Missy Stone as Herself (Adult Film Clip), as Herself (Adult Film Clip), Mark Ashley as Himself (Adult Film Clip)

Also starring:


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