Don Jon

Don Jon movie poster

Don Jon movie poster

There’s a bachelor’s love of ladies and then there’s his love of porn. Most people might combine the two to a degree but Don Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), as he is called by his friends, has a clear differentiation between them.

Jon Martello Jr. is known for his “talents” of getting women, the “10s”. He’s also known for never calling them back. That might be typical douchebag behaviour but Jon is very in tune with his feelings. He knows he enjoys porn more than sex.

When he meets Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson), his perspective on life changes. She doesn’t put out and thus the master of the one-night-stand is forced to wait for sex. He confesses to his friends that he’s “in love” and suddenly he’s a changed man.

Only he can’t give up porn. Even when explicitly forbidden by Barbara, he can’t do it. He watches while driving. He watches in a class Barbara signed him up for, and is discovered by Esther (Julianne Moore), a mature student who also shows to be much more open-minded.

The freshness of Don Jon comes with how blunt and on-point it is with how things come across. As Jon mentions in the film’s intro “There’s only a few things I really care about in life. My body. My pad. My ride. My family. My church. My boys. My girls. My porn.”

The film takes a very routine approach to its own progression. Scenes with Jon’s family are always around the kitchen table with his mother Angela (Glenne Headly) pressuring him to settle down, his father Jon Jr. (Tony Danza) shouting at the football game and his sister Monica (Brie Larson) never looking away from her phone. In addition to a weekly meal with the family, Jon proudly goes to confession every Sunday followed by the gym.

Jon is as charming as he is one-dimensional and such a thin line between the characters is what brings the comedy to this film. Every character is an exaggeration of their role, each having quirks that they carry for the entire film. This brings clarity with what each brings to the story.

Combine that with the film’s steady wit and highly entertaining delivery, Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut brings one of the year’s most fun comedies.
Four stars

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