DON JON (2013)
Written and Directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Available on Amazon Prime Instant Video
Jon is a family man and takes pride in the things he owns such as his apartment, clothes and car. He likes to look good by hitting the gym daily, goes to church and loves the women, often having a different woman every night. He also has an unhealthy obsession with internet porn. After scoring a date with the drop dead gorgeous Barbara, Jon finally thinks he’s won the jackpot. Though he’s always managed to attract beautiful women, he scores Barbara higher than anyone he’s ever met. With the previous flings in his life unable to satisfy him as well as online pornography does, Jon believes Barbara may well be the one but Barbara isn’t one to put out on a first date… not even third. Will a disapproving Barbara cease Jon’s infatuation with porn?
Drama DON JON explores the life of a young lothario (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and whether one woman can change his habit of a lifetime. Seeing women as sex objects, it’s strange that they don’t give him the pleasure he longingly desires. Building up an unreal expectation from the mountains of porn he pleasures himself over, Jon loses sight on what’s real and what’s not. Even bagging the beautiful Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) isn’t enough even though he fools himself into thinking she is the one. In his quest for happiness, we discover that the character of Jon is completely blinded by the truth and his own desire has turned him into a prisoner of his own decisions and ideologies about relationships and sex.
Mixing drama with a hint of comedy, DON JON is quite an enjoyable watch. The journey which Jon’s character makes from the beginning to the end is an emotional one which sees him develop as a human being and learn about life itself and what it means. The main problem he has is that he seems to objectify everything in his life, not just his women. Even his relationship with Barbara becomes strained as the novelty of dating a ‘dime’ wears off but he’s still chasing perfection or at least the idea of it. A chance meeting with fellow student Esther (Julianne Moore) opens his eyes to what kind of life he’s been living and to what he truly wants in a healthy relationship.
Scarlett Johansson and Joseph-Gordon Levitt are superb in their roles, particularly Johansson who starts off quite likable as the stunningly attractive blonde but by the end becomes one hell of an ugly character. Julianne Moore brings experience to the youthful film and her character which is something that Levitt’s character Jon heavily benefits from. The choice of cast is spot on as they carry the film with ease whilst easily able to inject humour into the drama where necessary.
If you like movies with a heart with a splash of sex comedy, then DON JON is well worth a look.