Joseph Gordon-Levitt's sex comedy, Don Jon | Film Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's sex comedy, Don Jon 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson in "Don Jon"

Photo by Daniel McFadden/ Relativity Media LLC

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson in "Don Jon"

Like so many actors who have come before, Joseph Gordon-Levitt decided to take a shot behind the camera. Luckily for him, Don Jon not only continues his streak of winning on-screen performances but actually has a fighting chance of making a few Top 10 lists by the end of 2013.

The film opens with a montage of pop culture video clips from the near past that barely register with Americans as sexual anymore; think along the lines of Sisqo's "Thong Song" video and you'll get the picture. This is our entry into the world of Joe Martello (Gordon-Levitt), given the moniker of the film's title by his friends due to his prowess as a womanizer. As he haunts his favorite dance clubs, Joe takes pride in his streak of taking a different girl home each night. However, porn is also on Joe's short list of life's priorities, and he has become so addicted to the escapades he watches on his home computer that his real-life sex life always fail to measure up.

Shortly after beginning a relationship with his dream girl, Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), Joe dedicates himself to stop consuming porn cold turkey. That resolve slips and he's watching videos on his phone during his night-school classes; a classmate (Julianne Moore) catches him and reveals that the action found onscreen isn't really "real."

The script, written by Gordon-Levitt as well, is one of the more spectacular to reach movie screens this year. Working with a risky, not-guaranteed-to-amuse subject, Gordon-Levitt has fun with the situations his character finds himself in. His Joe is proudly attentive to every detail of his home, car, body and family, with porn being just another integral element.

Gordon-Levitt's direction still leaves much to be desired, however. Seemingly enamored with the work of Kevin Smith (Clerks), many scenes appear to have been set up with that auteur's point-at-a-wall-and-shoot directing style. The film even features it own Silent Bob-esque character in Joe's sister Monica (Brie Larson), who taps ceaselessly at her cellphone until the time comes for her to unleash the truth.

There are a few casting duds to be found, as well, the biggest being Tony Danza inhabiting the role of Joe Sr.—his scenes screaming at Gordon-Levitt over bowls of pasta are a waste of time.

This film isn't for everyone, and it certainly isn't perfect. It may be too soon for Gordon-Levitt to give up the day job, but Don Jon nevertheless is a surprisingly auspicious writing and directing debut.

This article appeared in print with the headline "Fast men."

  • Don Jon is a surprisingly auspicious writing and directing debut.

Film Details

Don Jon
Rated R · 90 min. · 2013
Official Site: www.facebook.com/DonJonMovie?fref=ts
Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Writer: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Producer: Ram Bergman and Nicolas Chartier
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Brie Larson, Tony Danza, Rob Brown, Lindsey Broad, Italia Ricci, Antoinette Kalaj and Amanda Perez

Trailer


Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for Don Jon

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Film Review



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

The lobster is arbitrarily asinine, disjointed, and gratuitously violent towards both humans and former humans that "didn't make it." If …

by Marco_Polo on The Lobster Surreally Skewers Society’s Fear of Single People (Film Review)

The only peeople who murdered those boys were let off by an inexperienced prosecutor and hoodwinked judge. The facts are …

by Greg 1 on The West Memphis Three are free ... what about the real killer? (Film Review)

"Miles Ahead"... "opening Friday".... where? I'm having a tough time finding film times/locations on www.indyweek.com now. The …

by Tbone on Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis Film, Miles Ahead, Isn’t a Real Biopic—It’s Something Better (Film Review)

Actually, many evangelicals and other Christians would not agree with the notion that "if you are a true believer you …

by bsquizzato on Film Review: Christian Movie Miracles From Heaven Goes Where Secular Hollywood Won't (Film Review)

Comments

The lobster is arbitrarily asinine, disjointed, and gratuitously violent towards both humans and former humans that "didn't make it." If …

by Marco_Polo on The Lobster Surreally Skewers Society’s Fear of Single People (Film Review)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation