Joseph Gordon-Levitt can seem to do no wrong these days. He successfully navigated the tricky waters from child star to adult actor, without the industry chewing him up and spitting him out in a puff of cocaine. Seemingly adored by all (including myself), he can pretty much do whatever he wants, from acting to writing to directing (with Don Jon being his first triple-play), plus he is a darling of the college and indie circuit with his online collaborate production company hitRECord. Now to Don Jon…
Don Jon may be the most flamingly heterosexual movie I’ve seen in a long time. Jon (Gordon-Levitt) is a swaggering lothario in the mold of John Travolta’s Tony Manero. The things he cares about: “My body. My pad. My ride. My family. My church. My boys. My girls. My porn.” (Perhaps in reverse order…) His problem is that he can only truly lose himself in porn. And he watches a lot of it. A lot. And a lot of it is, in bits and pieces (no pun intended) shown alarmingly full-screen, which is admittedly more than a little jarring, especially when viewed in a theater.
Jon seems to have met his match in sexy, sassy Barbara (Scarlett Johansson). See, Barbara is a “dime” (is it possible to be a dime and a penny?), is smokin’ hot, and is a big ol’ tease, leaving poor Jon, well, pent up. When they finally get together, and she busts him still “enjoying” porn while she is in bed in the other room, well, he’s got some explaining to do.
Don Jon, has some good ideas, and has its moments. Scarlett Johansson is particularly good as a woman who knows what she wants, what she has, and how to work it. But Jon is the focus, and it is kind of hard to care about him being a one-note horndog. When he meets a brash and open older woman (Julianne Moore) in his evening college class, supposedly his eyes are opened to what it means to really lose yourself in someone (a lover) as opposed to some thing (porn)… but the thing is, you don’t really care about any of the characters. In the meantime, you are trying to purge your eyeballs from the flashes of uber-icky porn.
The Blu-ray includes several featurettes, including a making-of, a short about Gordon-Levitt’s writing, directing, and acting in the film, one about Jon’s tendency to objectify those around him, a bit about the composer of the score, and a trailer. There are also some shorts from Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s production company HitRECord.