Don Jon Reviews

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Super Reviewer
May 20, 2015
Bit torn on this one. I really didn't like the characters of either Jon or Barbara here (how did they make Scarlett look so harsh and unattractive while supposedly portraying her as the "hot" girl?!). Jon was just a meathead dumbass addicted to watching porn. Not much else to him.
At least there was some growth to his character by the end.
Julianne Moore is great and looks amazing for her age, but that was a hard relationship to swallow too.
I don't know... It was something a bit different and it wasn't predictable, so full marks there.
I'm glad I saw it. However, I don't think I would watch it again.
Super Reviewer
February 12, 2015
There's a lot to love in this dramedy from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who starred, directed, and wrote this film. It has some really great performances from everyone involved: Tony Danza has never been more enjoyable to watch onscreen, Johansson is caustically hilarious, Moore is the best aspect of this entire film, and Gordon-Levitt actually gives a realistic performance as the sweaty, meat headed Jon. The main problem of the film is that it has a message that is belittled by its inclusion of relationship politics. If it was only about the problems, and pure humanity, of sex addicts (especially within communities full of these Jersey stereotypes) this film would be easy to love. The inclusion of a unique May-December relationship was especially inspired. On top of that the film tries to draw a line between the enjoyment of porn by guys, and the enjoyment of romantic comedies by women. This is a really strange, unclear connection that doesn't make much sense in the grander scheme of the film. That, and the relationship between Jon (Gordon-Levitt) and Barbara (Johansson) makes little sense to the rest of the narrative. Why it is included at all is a mystery. Is it a portrayal of women's expectations in general, or is it saying something about Jon's expectations when it comes to sex? It's a very strange narrative, and one that paints women as needy and pessimistic. This narrative is especially damaging when you look at the conclusion, which belittles sex addiction by having Jon end his addiction with free will. There have been better films that deal with this subject without getting everything absolutely wrong.
hunterjt13
Super Reviewer
½ October 7, 2014
A Jersey Shore-esque rake with a fixation for porn falls for a local girl who almost matches his fantasies.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut should be praised for its style and for its strong performances by Gordon-Levitt himself and Scarlett Johansson. But it's sexual politics are as obvious as Jon Martello's biceps, and its heavy handed feminist message, while admirable, is pat and basic. There's nothing new sex and gender relations here even though I suspect Gordon-Levitt thinks otherwise.
Overall, the film is only to be blamed for its lack of originality, not necessarily its execution.
Super Reviewer
February 7, 2014
A repetitive, tiring story about a narcissistic young man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), his addiction to porn, and how this lifestyle threatens to ruin his life and new relationship with a beautiful woman (Scarlett Johannson). While JGL definitely shows some skill in directing, sometimes appearing to take some tricks from Edgar Wright and how he does his films, this movie is full of unlikeable characters and scenes of melodramatic acting that do not ring true. Gordon-Levitt is fantastic in the role, but his character is someone who we ultimately do not care win or loses this "battle" based on how self-centered he, and the movie in general, are in life. Throw in a ridiculous subplot involving a much older woman (Julianne Moore) who is interested in him, and this movie is one step away from a total disaster. As said, there are some things interesting about it, but as a whole, it is not a movie with characters you can care or pull for.
Super Reviewer
February 6, 2014
A daring move for first time director Gordon-Levitt. The rythm of salacious views on life, sex, women and marriage decrease with each passing minute, and so does the humor ; it runs out of steam before time is due.
Super Reviewer
August 28, 2013
Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directing debut is an often hilarious comedy with more edge than typical mainstream fare and has solid performances across the board from himself, Scarlet Johansson, and Julianne Moore. Don Jon is 90 minutes of enjoyable film, but doesn't really do anything to transcend the genre and ends up softer around the edges than it should be by the end. For a movie about porn and lots of sex, the script really lets up at the end after building up some momentum that this might be one of those romantic comedies that tells the truth and doesn't candy coat things. I still think in that regard it is better than most, even if the last act is a little bit of a letdown. This is still a solid and worthwhile investment and a great alternative for guys to trick females into watching as a romantic comedy that isn't completely puke inducing.
Super Reviewer
September 11, 2013
Daring, controversial, and downright raunchy at times, "Don Jon" is a riot to watch not only in a comedic way, but the way you can truly learn to turn your life around is displayed perfectly in a very short 90-minute film. Joseph Gordon Levitt definitely brought his A-Game to direct, and he is showing no signs of slowing down. I do feel that he has a knack for Directing now, but stay behind the camera if you want to do that, because at times it does feel like he is a little full of himself. The nods at Hollywood humour, the symbolism, and the nice story that this film displays is very bittersweet and funny, and although the end takes a turn which many people will be turned off by, I felt myself following the characters emotions and actually started to tear up. Watching Jon's transformation out of being a porn addict was pretty fascinating, due to the awesome editing techniques and fast-paced storytelling. "Don Jon" is among my favourites of 2013, and I had tons of fun watching it!
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2014
For anyone remotely interested in film, it's been hard not to notice or monitor the rise of Joseph Gordon-Levitt over recent times. Sure, he started off as a child actor in 1988 and appeared in such television shows as "Family Ties", "L.A. Law" and "Quantum Leap". He made his film debut in Robert Redford's "A River Runs Through It" before arguably becoming a household name in the brilliant TV show "3rd Rock from the Sun". Since then, his meteoric rise has went from strength to strength in both independent and blockbuster movies. "Don Jon" now marks another achievement in Gordon-Levitt's career; it's his writing and directorial debut and it's a very strong footing to start on.

Jon Martello (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a New Jersey playboy - nicknamed "Don Jon" for his ability to pick-up a different girl every night. He soon meets his match in Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson) and decides to leave his old habits to the side as he tries to succeed in a meaningful relationship. However, there's one habit that Jon can't break and that's his obsession and addiction to internet porn.

From the offset this film bombards us with sexual images of scantily clad women in bikinis; they're on the beach, they're at sports events, they're on adverts and within minutes it's clear that Gordon-Levitt's intentions are to remind us of the sexual exploitation of women in our society. It's a less than subtle device but very effective all the same. We then get to meet the man himself - "Don Jon", staring blankly at his laptop with a box of hankies by his side and talking us through his love for internet porn. At this point, I was reminded of Michael Fassbender's character in Steve McQueen's "Shame" and how male's with a high labido and sexual prowess are being scrutinised in more depth in contemporary cinema.
Their bravado is not a sign of strength, but weakness, and it's refreshing to see the layers and indiscretions of such a character more exposed. Fassbender gave the performance of the year in 2012 and deserved kudos for his bravery in that role. Gordon-Levitt deserves likewise; he doesn't shy from away from depicting his character as anything less than an asshole. With a towering physique and predatory demeanour, he no longer looks like the average boy-next-door and impressively handles his most unsympathetic role yet. It's not just his performance that stands out, though. His ability to handle his supporting cast, draws out excellent performances from everyone involved and the subtlety of his writing brings a three-dimensional edge to all the characters. His relationship with Scarlett Johansson's Barbara, for example, only serves to reflect himself. On the surface, it would seem that they are completely different but it takes the shallowness of one to expose the other and the relationship with his father (an excellent Tony Danza) hints at where Jon may have been influenced in his views on the opposite gender. There's a maturity to Gordon Levitt's writing and to do it under the guise of a romantic-comedy is cleverly done. Some may categorise this film in that genre but I found it to be more of an astute character study and a welcome commentary on our increasingly distant society (his sister is always preoccupied with her phone and doesn't interact with anyone) or the tokenism of religious beliefs where everything with be absolved with a few Hail Mary's or Acts of Contrition. All is not lost, though, as hope comes in the form of a free spirited Julianne Moore where Gordon-Levitt seizes the opportunity to lambast the beauty myth and urges us to look further than the imposed objectification of women.

It would be hard for anyone to deny that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of the most consistent in the business. He's everywhere at the moment and, thankfully, it doesn't look like he's about to go away anytime soon. All eyes may have been on him as he ventured into different territory here but - if you'll pardon the pun - he manages to pull it off.

Mark Walker
Super Reviewer
September 23, 2013
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a good director in the sense that he knows how to make a good movie; his knowledge about the craft of filmmaking is felt throughout the feature. All the tools are there---but honestly, I expected better. Scarlett Johansson is brilliant in her role, and Gordon-Levitt, as always, is a strong, likable actor, but the other characters are tragically downplayed and reduced to rom-com cliches. The script is good, the pacing is well done, but the movie becomes too repetitive. Despite these flaws, however, Don Jon indicates Gordon-Levitt's potential; he just has to somehow put all the pieces together better next time.
Super Reviewer
½ October 2, 2013
Substantial directorial debut film done by Gordon-Levitt. Not one-sided but goes two-ways.
Super Reviewer
December 14, 2013
I thought this was a very pertinent film. Very in-your-face and with oh-so-many stereotypes but that's exactly what the movie is about.
MANUGINO
Super Reviewer
December 24, 2013
There's more to life than a happy ending.

Good Film! The film was written, directed and starred Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He did a really fine job for his writing and directorial debut, but he may have been trying to do too much. The acting by Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly, and Brie Larson is quite good. I think it is Gordon-Levitt's script that leaves something to be desired. His character Jon is a very successful ladies' man who is also heavily addicted to masturbating to internet porn numerous times daily. Many people will find the film to be quite funny and enjoyable. However, the graphic use of porn will not be to everybody's taste and may be off-putting to viewers particularly female viewers. If you have never experienced true emotional intimacy with another human being, or a truly loving sexual relationship, Don Jon will give you some idea what true emotional intimacy or a loving,sexual relationship is all about!

Jon Martello objectifies everything in his life: his apartment, his car, his family, his church, and, of course, women. His buddies even call him Don Jon because of his ability to pull "10s" every weekend without fail. Yet even the finest flings don't compare to the transcendent bliss he achieves alone in front of the computer watching pornography. Dissatisfied, he embarks on a journey to find a more gratifying sex life, but ends up learning larger lessons of life and love through relationships with two very different women.
Super Reviewer
½ December 23, 2013
A comedy starring(also directed by) Joseph Gordon-Levitt about porn addiction sounded awesome to me. First trailer I saw I laughed my butt off and figured this would be one of the funnier films of the year. While it does have some very funny moments, it's really more of a drama. Levitt stars as Jon, a playa who can get any girl he wants, but it's never as good as the girls in the porn he watches. He'll have sex, then immediately go and watch porn. He starts a relationship with Barbara(Scarlett Johansson) a girl who has it in her mind that relationships should be like the movies, and tries to change Jon to fit that model for her. While she is trying to change him, he is befriending a much older woman(Julianne Moore) as a night class he is taking(cause Barbara told him to) and finding that maybe being changed isn't what he wants. The performances are ok, Johansson plays kind of a jersey girl type and is downright annoying in some parts. Levitt has been much better in other movies, but he still does decent. The overall theme of why the guy is addicted to porn is interesting, but I dunno, the movie was just missing something for me. Still a decent first outing for Levitt as a director.
TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
December 19, 2013
Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut is a well executed comedy with drama overtones that blend perfectly to create an impressive feature from actor turned director. Knowing the skill level that Levitt has as an actor, it's no surprise that Don Jon is a well made movie that boasts effective direction and good performance by its director. The story is pretty basic, but the subject is handled in a way that makes you suggest that less is more, and that's a good thing. While using a simple idea for a story, Levitt was able to make an engaging picture that strengthens Levitt's talents. Yes, Don Jon is simplistic in its plot, and there are a few flaws that pop up, I felt the ending could have been a little better, but in the end it's still a satisfying picture. The cast that Levitt has picked is very good, and I though each actor brought something enjoyable to the screen. Even if the story is simple, the script is well written and Levitt brings charm to the title character that really makes this an entertaining and enjoyable film. With this film, I can say that Levitt has a bright future as a director, and I can't wait to see what he'll come up with next. Despite its plot, Don Jon is worth seeing and blends two genres very well into one film. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is always engaging and he makes yet another terrific picture that is engaging from the first frame onwards. If you enjoy Levitt's work, this is a must see movie that is sure to delight viewers who have appreciated his work in the past. With that being said, with Don under his belt, I would say that Levitt's is more than capable than sitting in the back of a camera as well as being in front of it.
Super Reviewer
½ November 20, 2013
A refreshing debut for Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a filmmaker, who delivers a solid script that holds a lot more to it than you might think and directs it with a very firm grip that is reflected in the strong performances from himself and the rest of his fine cast.
Super Reviewer
November 13, 2013
Commendable directorial debut from our long-locked child star turned dapper Renaissance Man, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Don Jon is a womanizer, to be sure, but one with an impenetrable code of honor in regard to the eight things he really cares about (body, pad, ride, family, church, boys, girls, and porn), which come to think of it, are more things than I care to care about.

JG-L plays a slick Guido, and ScarJo plays a high-maintenance Joisey princess, and both generate sizzling chemistry. The supporting cast with their loud Italian squabbles adds some awkward comedic relief, though the silent sister ultimately imparting sage advice was a little predictable. The camera's energy is as fervent and manic as any blue movie, with the sharp cuts and varied angles. The booty-grinding house/club soundtrack is also a reliable punchline.

I like Julianne Moore's character of Esther, the real woman who teaches Jon about real love, but I can't really envision the two of them getting together. Maybe it's a chemistry thing; maybe it's an age thing. However, I'm not one of the everybodies who loves a happy ending (as this film poster claims) - rather preferring the characters to remain single while finding themselves - so the crunchy-groovy ending rang a little cliché and premature.
Super Reviewer
October 8, 2013
Genuine, hilarious, and raunchy..... didn't know a film could have all three. The movie had tons of good laughs and moments throughout, definitely a fresh type of movie that the comedy genre has been missing. Well done to you Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Super Reviewer
September 30, 2013
"All aboard the Gordon-Levitt train!" they said.
I said, "No."

Just look at this with a sober mind: Joseph Gordon-Levitt's undoubtedly a solid and consistent actor, but don't you think he's being praised too highly? C'mon now -- some are praising him as the actor of our age. A bit too excessive, don't you think? If you're talking that talk, then let's recall back to his previous outings: "50/50", "500 Days of Summer", "The Outlook", "Looper". He certainly had shining moments of glory, but for the most part, he plays his roles adequately, not superbly. Well here we are with his directorial debut, "Don Jon". Just like his acting career, he does a fine job -- nothing more, nothing less.

I'll give it this: "Don Jon" has a unique style straight from the mind of Gordon-Levitt. With quick cuts, Italian shlock-like dialogue, and snappy camerawork, "Don Jon" is slick around the edges. On a technical level, "Don Jon" is a solid flick. You can't help but to see because of the amount of experience Gordon-Levitt's been under, it's really propelled "Don Jon" to be not only an entertaining flick, but a technical achievement as well, especially for his first outing as writer and director. So what's the problem? It just about dabbles into several genres without mastering one. It's a comedy/romance/drama but none of these genres within the narrative is compelling enough. More so than the other genres, "Don Jon" is more of a comedy, especially when coupled with the dialogue and editing style, but never do you laugh out loud. More so, the romance and the drama are merely scratched. So by the end of the film, though you were entertained, none of it resonates with you.

Undeniably, this is a strong outing for first-time director, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It's confident, snappy, and filled with energy; just don't expect to be wowed, praising the movie to be one of the best films of the year. It'll be a fun time (maybe uncomfortable especially for a first-time date) at the movies, but that's all "Don Jon" extends to.
Super Reviewer
½ October 7, 2013
While some characterizations are thin the story of how an everyman discovers some real happiness, warts and all (and who imagines happiness with warts?), in spite of his own intentions, grows on you. An actors film, some are given plenty of chance here to shine if only briefly. The story manages to engage regardless of its sticky origins. All in all a fun debut from a rising talent, one born in Hollywood's machinations, and yet a generation away from, say, Ron Howard.
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