Don Jon Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.