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  • Don Jon was very well-received in its regional premiere at the Paramount Theatre during Austin's SXSW Film Festival. 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. I'm also wondering whether the extensive use of porn will lead to the MPAA giving it the kiss-of-death NC-17 rather than an R rating.

    JGL's script is well-intentioned and he is trying to make the point that many people become so self-absorbed that they lose the ability to interact with others on a human level. Jon is deadened to real romance by his reliance on porn. His girlfriend has an overly romanticized view of relationships based on watching too many romantic movies. They are both so self-absorbed and selfish that they can't really build a real relationship. Still, it was often difficult to figure out what JGL's point was and in many ways became clearer listening to him during the Q&A after the film. JGL is attempting to raise profound issues about human relationships in the modern era, but he hasn't quite figured out how to do that as a writer and director. I expect that he is going to become as fine a director and writer as he already is an actor. He has a fine future ahead of him.
  • Kirpianuscus1 September 2019
    I like this film. Not ignoring its sins . seeing it as a honest, precise work of a good actor, interesting director, illustration of a simple and touching story, using taboo themes in inspired manner, offering realistic portrait of family, addiction, love and loneliness and self definition. Gordon - Levitt gives a beautiful demonstration of exploration of near reality in its sensitive and basic aspects in wise and convincing manner. This is the best thing in this case. And, of course, the splendid job of actors , especially Tony Danza and Scarlett Johanson and surprising embroidery of character from Julianne Moore.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Jon, a confident, promiscuous, foul-mouthed, obsessive-compulsive, Catholic New Jersey boy. Though he is able to sleep with any woman he likes, which is how his friend's gave him the name Don Jon, he is unable to find the same level of satisfaction he attains through his addiction to online pornography. After meeting Barbara, played by Scarlett Johansson, Jon falls in-love and struggles to choose between her and his addiction.

    Where a typical Hollywood romance would end, Don Jon just gets started. This is not a romantic comedy, this is a character-study within an anti-romantic comedy with great performances by an excellent cast in perfectly written roles. Tony Danza and Glenne Headly, as Jon's parents, provide some of the film's biggest laughs while Julianne Moore's character gives the story genuine heart. Joseph Gordon-Levitt proves to be just as talented behind-the-camera as he is in-front of it.

    Don Jon does more in one small, 90-minute film than most 2 hour big films have ever accomplished. There is much to learn about relationships in this little tale yet it's never preachy and it keeps the laughs coming. This isn't the kind of film couples will feel comfortable or even want to see but it's the film they need to see. It's sincere and honest truth, no fluff.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I give this movie a 10 because it has a message. It has a true purpose to it, which effects nearly every man on the planet.

    Ladies, you can listen to this, but be reasonable. Guys, we all masturbate. Some of us do it more than others, most of us look at porn. Some of us only masturbate to porn and some of us have real hard fetishes.

    This movie points to the problem, the process of porn turning our heads, making us believe in perfection and making us ultimately selfish as lovers.

    You watch porn, you don't have to please a woman, you don't have to worry about anyone but yourself. It is all perfect. In the real world, in relationships, the other person matters just as much as you, but sometimes, even the real thing is not as good as the fantasy and the ease of it.

    Don Jon is about that confusion of liking and appreciating porn more than real women, of becoming addicted to the idea of 'perfection' and the ultimate realization of the effect it has on all us men, making us irritated little boys, incapable of truly connecting with another person.

    The message is not that porn is bad, only the way we think and use it is misleading to reality.

    But, this is not the type of movie to watch with the family, the girl; it's funny, but not a comedy in a spoof and clown type of way. Watch this movie alone, think about yourself and how porn effects you. It will benefit you greatly.
  • Defining what kind of film this is had to be the hardest part of getting DON JON made, but ultimately it was worth it! It isn't really a "guy" film even though *technically* it tries to look at sex from a guy's perspective. It may actually best be called a "chick" flick, but one they would see alone rather than with a date. At the screening I saw, ALL the raucous laughter was coming from very obviously female voices - falling out of their chairs laughing over what they viewed as stereotypical male behavior - and even as the supposed "10" played by Scarlett Johansson reveals herself to be the kind of demanding (insert the word for a female canine here) who a very stupid - make that excessively immature - straight boy (like the one played with supreme élan by author/director Gordon-Levitt) would make a fool of himself over!

    The film heavily satirizes stereotypical straight New Jersey Catholics - the easily offended of which should probably stay away along with anyone who expects a slick date night romantic comedy that doesn't require them to THINK - but it IS a beautifully structured and polished first directorial effort and very funny in its way. Man or woman though, it is not your usual DATE film to see with the opposite sex. The litmus scene for the film was probably when Johansson (Barbara) confronts Gordon-Levitt (Jon) over watching porn! Foolishly trying to evoke simple reason, he (accurately) tells her that "EVERY guy watches porn - and that anyone who says he doesn't is lying." The theatre got absolutely quiet there for a moment in any section where dates were sitting, as each side wondered what the other was thinking. What YOU may think in that scene will determine a lot about how you view and react to the film. You may enjoy it regardless of what you think of that (for the film) core issue, but you sure won't want to see it with anyone who you can't comfortably talk about it with.

    The "home" scenes with Jon's family and Barbara's are probably excess baggage, but they give the central characters broad context (the broadest performance in a very stylized film is probably Tony Danza's performance as Jon's father) - and set up the one totally human moment in the film when Jon's silent sister defines what a good sibling should be when she finally has a line! Ultimately, there is one unexpected, rational woman (Julianne Moore giving a remarkable imitation of Susan Sarandon!) who Jon meets in the night class Barbara insists he take who not only "gets" him but broadens his horizons for the kind of growth any central character in a good film must have.

    Don't expect a pat happy ending or a cheap thought-free throw away comedy (and DON'T make it first date material with someone you don't know yet!), and the open minded will have a wonderful time. My take-away image is really of a few years ago at the first Broadway preview of a Tony winning musical called AVENUE Q. Just before it started, a student of mine at the university where I teach came over to introduce his mother who was seeing the show too, sitting in front of each other all the way over at the side. Midway through the show there was a very funny, very outrageous musical number called "You Can Be As Loud As You Want" (When You're making Love). I glanced over to see how my student and his mother were taking it and, as you can imagine, my student, sitting in front of his mother, was sinking onto the floor with embarrassment. What he *couldn't see* was his mother rocking with laughter both at the insouciance of the number and her son's embarrassment! I think my mother (who, as far as I know, probably doesn't approve of pornography) or my minister would be howling with laughter at DON JON too - but they probably wouldn't want anyone they knew to see them doing so.

    Recommended - but with noted reservations.
  • Don Jon (2013)

    *** 1/2 (out of 4)

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt wrote, director and stars as Jon, a twenty-something man who loves women but what he loves even more is watching porn. He meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) who demands that he gives it up for her. DON JON isn't the greatest film ever made but I will say that I don't recall ever watching a movie that was so confident. Confidence is something most people lack and even most brass movies lack it but DON JON certainly isn't afraid to say what it wants to and stick by it. Having a romantic comedy that says watching porn is better than being with women and then tells you why that's the case is something incredibly rare. What's even rarer is that this type of subject is usually just played for cheap laughs but here there's a complete story wrapped around it that asks a lot of questions, gives a lot of answers and as I said, is 100% confident about itself. The confidence just really jumps off the screen unlike any movie I've ever seen and that's where the original aspect of this film comes. There have been countless movies that downplay women but this one here just does so in such a fresh and original way that you can't help but enjoy it. It also is very smart about guys, their mentality on sex and various other issues. Gordon-Levitt does a wonderful job all around but especially in the acting department. As the writer he certainly knows this character very well but it still takes a very strong performance to get that to the screen and the actor does a fabulous job. Johansson also turns in her greatest work outside of a Woody Allen picture and Tony Danza is very memorable in his supporting bit as is Glenne Headly and Julianne Moore. The screenplay is certainly dirty and covers a lot of topics but the film never crosses the offensive line. The main reason it doesn't cross the line is that it remains smart no matter what it's saying and how dirty it's being said. DON JON is certainly a refreshing film that should get one excited thinking that Gordon-Levitt could turn into someone to keep your eye on not just as an actor but as a writer and director.
  • (Somewhat Spoiler-y) I've dated an older woman, and in a lot of ways she tried to tell me the same things Esther tells Jon. In fact I remember a few distinctly similar interactions, so on that level the movie really spoke to me.

    I imagine one could say the movie relies on some clichés, just enough to satisfy the romance/comedy genre, but it uses them in very unique ways to tell a story that at least seems a little more real. Sort of like 500 Days (of Summer) on steroids. No pun intended. In fact it may be even safe to say that Don Jon is the next chapter in the 500 Days saga, albeit with a different character. Perhaps one made cynical by the events of JGL last romance comedy outing.

    Don Jon has graduated beyond puppy love, certainly, and onto full blown adult fun. But the movie is very biting, and sort of tears apart his self-serving agenda.

    A lot of people seem to be caught up in the "porn" aspect of the movie, but honestly the "porn" is a metaphor, no more important to the gym-tan-laundry-sexualized commercials.

    There are only two real female characters in the film: Esther, and Jon's quiet-except-for-one-powerful-line sister. The sister in fact almost makes the movie, as they use her small character to incredible effect.

    The movie does a nice job of tricking the audience into rooting for Jon and Barbara, of course it's all a ploy. They even set up Esther as a sort of antagonist. She is enticing yet feels all wrong for Jon. Older, sort of run down, maybe a bit of a predator of weak men, the movie isn't very clear about her at the start. She runs completely counter to the stereotypes of women as set up by the film. She is far from perfect, but Moore makes her believably beautiful. I truly doubt many other actresses could've sold this role in the way she did. While her age played right into the character she probably was right for the character for mostly other reasons.

    I don't think the movie is overall that outstanding. Many of the jokes fall flat, and some of it is tedious. In fact the vast majority of it could be considered filler, but the end is so incredible it does a great job of tying all these scenes together in a way that makes perfect sense and delivers a powerful message. Without completely ruining it the end embraces the typical cliché, but flips it on it's head. What results is a very mature version of what audiences have come to expect from these types of movies. The same, but also very different.

    I would expect JGL will have continued success as a Director and actor.

    The guy truly gets it.
  • "Don Jon" (formerly known as "Don Jon's Addiction") is the feature directorial debut of the talented and ridiculously charismatic Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He also wrote the script and plays the title character, a young man from New Jersey who's developed: a) an unhealthy addiction to porn; and b) such unrealistic expectations about sex and love (and sex) that not even a "10" like Barbara (a hilarious Scarlett Johansson, in what is easily her best work since "Vicky Cristina Barcelona") can satisfy him in real life.

    "Don Jon" reminded me of a great, half-forgotten French film: Bertrand Blier's "Too Beautiful for You" (1989). In that film, a wealthy car dealer (Gerard Depardieu) who has everything – including a beautiful wife (Carole Bouquet) – falls for his plain, slightly overweight secretary (Josiane Balasko). "Don Jon" is also like Blier's film in the sense that Jon finds his "10," yet he's still unsatisfied. Both films are very different in tone, aesthetics, and geography, but they delicately touch in the realm of our own emotional misconceptions and immaturity. We live in a world where our ever-growing concern about self-image, and the belief that we must abide by unattainable beauty standards in order to find a decent match, have grown so out-of-hand that all we ever do is find obstacles to getting to know anyone who doesn't meet our own ridiculous requirements. We are always waiting for the illusory perfection. Levitt sharply illustrates this issue by way of porn addiction; it might be crude for some, but he manages not to fall into excessive vulgarity or toilet humor.

    Also featuring the always wonderful Julianne Moore in an important role, plus Glenne Headly (I've missed her on the big screen), Tony Danza, and Brie Larson as Jon's parents and sister, respectively; "Don Jon" is worth the visit. Here's hoping for more JGL directorial efforts!
  • kosmasp12 August 2013
    Joseph Gordon Levitt proves he can act and direct at the same time. Bringing Tony Danza back (in a different more extreme Dad role than most know him from) was a great move too. But the movie is all about JGL performance. In front and behind the camera, choosing how to cut a movie together that some might call pornography (though it isn't, it's a movie about addiction).

    Sex addiction is something that people take very lightly, making fun of it most of the time. But it can be more serious than that. And Don Jon proves that in a very comical way. Where Michael Fassbender went on and played it like a drama (equally good at least in "Shame"), this movie is lighter in tone most of the time. Still having drama to sit through, but the comic moments, make this an easier film to watch. If you don't mind the sexual theme it has, you will get a powerful movie about the Downfalls of addiction
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt is bringing his best Jersey Shore impersonation. He's writing, directing, and staring in his first big filmmaking effort. Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) loves only a few things. He cares about his workouts, his cleaning, his car, his family, his church, his boys, chicks, and his porn. Then he meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) at the club. On a scale from 1 to 10, she's a dime. She loves rom-coms, and she wants to completely change him. She hates him watching porn and gets him to go to night school. At school, nosy Esther (Julianne Moore) keeps bothering him.

    There is a lot to commend on JGL's first big effort. He allows his actors to do their thing. Scarlett Johansson does a good Jersey princess. Tony Danza is amazing as the big macho father. JGL really never lets his mask slip. Julianne Moore brings the deepest character in the whole movie. The movie has its dark moments. Its subject matter is edgy. The funny moments are slightly humorous. It's a dark comedy but just not that funny. If there is an emotional truth, it hits it with a hammer. The movie really gets interesting with the Esther character. JGL did some good work here. The style looks sharp. The script probably needs a few more well written jokes. I look forward to his next directing project.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Just watched this with my movie theatre-working friend and his grown nephew. Joseph Gordon-Levitt wrote, directed, and stars as the title character, someone who gets any woman he wants when going to clubs with friends but gets unsatisfied compared to the porn images he looks up on his computer while getting off. Since he's Catholic, he also confesses to a priest every week for these transgressions and does his penance while lifting weights. When he meets Scarlett Johansson, she doesn't take to him right away so he tries harder with her. She seems to want to change him or at least wants him a certain way based on the romantic movies they go to which he doesn't like but holds his tongue concerning those. It's at night school, which the Scarlett character suggested to him, that he meets another woman played by Julianne Moore who might also change him, perhaps for the better. I'll stop there and just say that while I was fascinated by the repetition of certain scenes in order to get the gradual humor that results when those scenes start changing routines-like especially during the climatic family dinner table scene involving dad Tony Danza, mom Glenne Headley, and sis Brie Larson-it's when things take a more dramatic turn that things get really interesting. Like those concerning the Moore character. So on that note, Don Jon is worth a look if you're interested in the mature subject matter.
  • 'Don Jon (2013)' isn't just a movie about porn (though, porn and porn addiction do play a large role in the plot). Instead, it's a surprisingly nuanced, emotionally mature and, even, touching affair that aims to break down the artificiality of on-screen romances. It draws a parallel between the unrealistic emotional expectations one may have if they watch too many romantic comedies and the unrealistic sexual expectations one may have if they watch too much pornography. It's actually quite clever in its own sort of way. It's also relatively realistic and reaches an unexpectedly small yet significant conclusion that seemingly couldn't be any further from its starting point. That's because the protagonist is a self-absorbed, sexist womaniser more concerned with his own, greasy hairline than the actual personalities of any of the women he 'scores' nightly. Since we're in his headspace from the very first frame, the actual film can almost be just as grating. However, it isn't long before you realise what it's doing and that its heart is firmly in the right place. Not only does it have interesting and important messaging, it aims for an audience that this sort of film doesn't usually reach. It's typically an enjoyable, unembarrassed experience. It may not look it, but it's unmistakably a film about love. 7/10
  • cultfilmfan7 October 2013
    Don Jon
    Don Jon, was a film that I had to be a little patient with. What first started as a vulgar, raucous and teen oriented film having little more than jokes involving perverseness and sexual humour and was something that I figured I had wasted my money on, turned out to completely surprise me and ended up as one of my favourite films of this year. Yes, the film does have a lot of sexual humour and content in it, but it has some reason to, seeing as the film is dealing with addiction to pornography. And what may have seemed immature and like teenage humour for the first little bit of the film, soon went away and it became one of the most insightful and intelligent films of the year. I have heard the comparisons to this film from 2011's Steve McQueen directed film, Shame which is also about sexual addiction. Unfortunately, I have not seen Shame yet. I missed it at theatres and every time I go to the library to rent it, it is out, so for obvious reasons I can not compare the two of them. Don Jon, did have a lot to say both about young men and women, sex and relationships. It's the kind of film you would almost want younger teens to see in order to learn something and perhaps plan their own lives and future relationships a little more differently. Here the internet pornography sites serve as a form of escape for this main character and while he likes being around women, he can not connect with them in the same way as he feels he can with things he sees on the computer. This further complicates things for himself because what we see on the internet and in magazines often times are things that are made to look perfect, beautiful and however you want to put it, but other than just looking at it, there is no real connection, or relationship to it. It is hollow and empty and void of any emotional connection or feelings to another person. Perhaps that is why this character can not relate to real women. Everything up to now has been completely empty and void of any feeling, or connection and in his mind if he doesn't have to attach himself in any way to a real woman, he wonders what the point of that is. Throughout the course of the film, our lead character, Jon, meets two very different women, who will both change his outlook and outcome of his way of handling relationships and finding truer meaning to both himself and others as well. The film while crude and a little graphic at times, is far more into psychological and character study than one may think and it is one of the most insightful and accurate looks at young, or basically any type of relationships that I have seen in a long time. Jon, is with one woman who seems to be his dream woman, but right from the start we do not really like her, or at least I didn't. She herself had an unrealistic view of relationships that was more about status symbols and image than about real love for one another as well. The other woman we meet knows more about relationships and more about Jon himself than he may want to admit, or care for her to know, but there is a whole different type of connection and intimacy level there. The film shows that so often young men treat women as sexual objects and fantasies and actually how we can be so demeaning and almost sexist towards them. At the same time, this selfish attitude hurts other people and ourselves because we can not truly ever find anything that is real if we continue on this way because everything has to be perfect, or just like it is on movies, magazines, or the internet and it gives us a false distortion of reality, relationships and other people. The film is the first film written and directed by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt whose acting has impressed me over the years, especially in films like Gregg Araki's Mysterious Skin. Now he shows that he can not only act, but write and direct as well. The film has moments of laugh out loud humour, but it also has a tender and emotional side to it as well. It examines these people and what is really behind them and the hurts, or the things they have been through and it is honest both about men, women and relationships in general. As the film ended, I could totally understand the way the film ended and why Levitt, decided to do it in that way. It felt realistic for his character, but at the same time also connected to beauty and happiness. I enjoyed the screenplay and direction immensely as well as the performances were all quite good as well. I liked the quick jump cut editing and the film's use of music in certain scenes, I felt worked really well also. I know some viewers will be turned off by the material and subject matter, but it really is a film worth seeing if you are in a relationship, or even if you are not and this is a film that definitely has something to say. I look forward to future writing and directing projects for Levitt, and as it stands Don Jon, is one of 2013's best and maybe most misunderstood films as well.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt has knocked it out of the park with this directorial debut. Don Jon is funny, touching, raunchy and is definitely worth the price of admission. The film explores the relationship between a porn addicted ladies man and a woman that thinks he can change him for the better. Don Jon's strengths are not only in it's unique story, but in the performances. Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives an award worthy performance as the titular character, playing him not just as a Jersey Shore wannabe with shallow interests, but someone that is more than what they seem. He brings heart and charm to a character who is, in any traditional sort of sense, unlikable. Scarlett Johanssen is truly remarkable as Barbara, a beautiful and mouthy woman who looks to change Don Jon for the better in hopes that she will ride off in the sunset with him. The supporting cast, which includes the likes of Tony Danza and Julianne Moore, keep the film interesting even when the Jon and Barbara story line begins to wear a bit thin towards the third act.

    The biggest surprise of this film, is the cynical take on Hollywood romantic comedies. Don Jon is a film that does not follow the Hollywood archetypal romantic comedy formula, instead, it relishes in making the genre a joke, including a mock film starring Channing Tatum. Gordon- Levitt establishes his cynical nature in the trailer of the film but that is nothing compared to the fun this film has with the genre clichés.

    This is a film that will catch a lot of people by surprise, it is funny, heartfelt and very intriguing. The best way to describe this film is a funny and more audience friendly version of the brilliant 2011 Steve McQueen film, Shame. It will make you laugh, it will make you cringe but most of all, it won't make you feel that bad about spending the twelve dollar ticket.
  • "It's not that I can't stop I just figure why should's not like I'm cheating on her." Jon (Gordon-Levitt) has a fun group of friends and is passionate about a few things. One of which is porn. Because of this obsession he is unable to have a healthy relationship with anyone. When he meets Barbara (Johansson) he thinks he found the perfect girl. Little by little he begins to wonder if he will ever feel about a woman the way he feels about his porn. First off I will have to say that this is not for everyone. If you offend easy then avoid this. Also the first five minutes are the raunchiest in terms of dialog so if you can make it past that you should be OK. As far as the movie goes I did enjoy it but the thing about this movie is the abundance of sex and porn will distract from the true meaning of the movie. The movie isn't necessarily about addiction but more about watching a man trying to connect with a human in a way he never has before. There are some very funny scenes in this one but it does have a lot of heart and that is the reason to watch. Acting is great but all of this won't be given a fair chance because of the in your face porn aspect. That is a shame. Overall, a very well done and good movie that won't be given a chance by many people because of the subject. I give it a B+.
  • New Jersey guy Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) only cares about a few things in his life: his family, friends, church, and porn. After many one-night-stands, he finally decides to settle down with a "dime" named Barbara (Scarlett Johansson). But not even this relationship can compare to the happiness Jon has when alone with his pornography. When he realizes his porn may be too influential on him, he begins to change his lifestyle and beliefs with help from an older woman (Julianne Moore).

    Stories of sex addiction aren't new, having been dealt with most recently in 2011's Shame, but Don Jon feels different. Jon loves porn; he says it many times in voice-over and is consistently shown getting up in the middle of the night to go watch porn after just having sex in real life. He doesn't see it as an addiction, saying "It's porn. It's not heroin," as his excuse. To show the media influence on sex, the film opens by crosscutting many sexualized commercials, film scenes, and television clips over the credits, while actual pornography clips are spliced throughout. But unlike Shame, which treats this topic in an intense, dramatic way, Jon keeps it light, funny, and tries to show how easy it is for someone to unknowingly fall into this addiction in today's sex- obsessed culture.

    The film also tackles an exploration of today's relationships. Barbara's own "porn" is romantic Hollywood films that Jon hates. These films have influenced Barbara's ideas on dating (she yells at him to stop cleaning his apartment because it's not sexy) and enforced her beliefs that typical gender roles are the only means to a happy relationship. This film speaks truths about ideas young people may have about dating in today's culture, and while spinning these topics in a mostly comedic light, it is still interesting to consider how much media pertains to our understanding of the world.

    Don Jon succeeds in most areas, and one large part is due to its cast. Tony Danza is really funny as Jon's father and Scarlett Johansson (and her hilarious Jersey accent) steals every scene she in. The film offers up a good amount of laughs, and the purposeful repetitive narrative works in showing Jon's changing lifestyle. Most of the film is so upbeat and fast that the last twenty minutes may feel like its dragging, but it can be considered necessary due to Jon's slowed-down new lifestyle.

    The fact that this is the first film by writer-director Gordon-Levitt is extremely impressive. Don Jon flies at a mostly fast pace, has a fun cast, and gives a great commentary on sex, relationships, and addiction.
  • Funny film. A sex comedy done right.

    The first 10-15 minutes, aside from the slick editing, had me worried - I was expecting the worst. However, to my pleasant surprise, it delivers as an amusing film about sex and pornography - it even goes away with a positive message.

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt is great as Jon, I thoroughly enjoyed his performance and what we get to learn about 'Don Jon'. Scarlett Johansson is good as Barbara, while Julianne Moore and Tony Danza support astutely. Brie Larson's character is utterly pointless, but in a way that's actually quite chucklesome - which I assume is the intention.

    The editing and camera work in this took my notice as well, both help keep the pacing going as it never feels like it's stalling at any point. I like this film, you should give it a watch.
  • As if Joseph Gordon-Levitt couldn't get any better. The former child star has turned into quite the up-and-coming young actor as he's worked to re-brand himself as something more than that kid from 3rd Rock From the Sun. Over the years, he's starred in such films as Brick, The Dark Knight Rises and Looper, and has proved to be the type of actor whom everyone loves - and who actually deserves that love. However, his most impressive performance to date might just be the one he gave behind the camera with Don Jon.

    The film marks Levitt's first time writing and directing a feature- length film, and it makes one hell of an impression, especially because he tackles the lead role as well. Don Jon is one of those movies that has plenty of laughs and a few heartfelt moments, and it's certainly entertaining. But it also touches on a few interesting social issues. I think I'll just go ahead and say it, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives away a few trade secrets, much to the horror of men everywhere: Don Jon touches on that dreadfully embarrassing fact that every guy is terrified will come out. What secret is that? Well, it's probably best to put it in the words of the protagonist, Jon, himself: "Every guy looks at porn, every day."

    Well, that last part might be a bit of an exaggeration, but Don Jon does bring up the point that pornography has become so readily available through the internet and even television that it's just simply within arm's reach at every single second of every single day, and every guy now and then reaches out to take a handful. However, society still treats it as something shameful and embarrassing, rather than a fact of life.

    Don Jon doesn't treat the use of pornography as something that should destroy relationships or cause significant others to fly off the handle in fits of jealousy. In fact, the movie seems to indicate, it's a habit that's probably pretty healthy. That isn't to say that Jon has a healthy habit, as he's reduced to having to look at pornography constantly throughout the day, even after sex, but you know, that's an extreme example.

    Then again, maybe it isn't. Maybe the film offers a bit of a warning about how a little pornography is perfectly normal, but a lot can create a monster. Too much porn can make it so that it's nearly impossible to connect with someone else on a meaningful level. After all, watching too much sex can create expectations that are as unrealistic as the ones the romantic comedies create.

    What really impressed me about Don Jon, though, are the performances that Levitt pulls out of his co-stars. I've honestly never seen Scarlett Johansson give a better performance than she did as Jon's trashy New Jersey girlfriend, Barbra. She's absolutely despicable as she slowly begin to reveal her true intentions and tries to paint Jon as the bad guy when she discovers his addiction. On top of that, Tony Danza gives a side-splitting performance as Jon's hot-headed father who gets into dick-measuring contest with his son every Sunday night (figurative, people, come on).

    However, the most impressive of them all is Levitt himself, who has repeatedly proved that he is one hell of an actor and one who has earned my trust as a moviegoer. The role is something so far from what I would have ever pictured him portraying, but he pulls it off beautifully as he plays the scumbag good-guy stereotype.

    Now for the hard part. I really enjoyed Don Jon. It strikes as a solid balance between art and entertainment, it's filled with lots of laughs and it touches on a sensitive topic in a way that doesn't seem preachy. The ending is a little weak, but everything up until that is golden. However, I'm not sure if it's what one would call a date movie, since it will probably lead to inquisitive stares during a quiet car ride home afterward. And honestly, that's really too bad. For the people that are willing to embrace the fact that everyone looks at porn, this movie is well worth the price of admission. However, I'm not sure if most of its value comes from the first viewing. It's no Shame, but there's really no shame in that.
  • The talented actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes a creditable writing & directing debut with this stylish, amusing, and sexually frank character study. Gordon-Levitt himself plays the character in question, a young New Jersey man "in the service industry" with a fairly short list of what matters to him in life. He has a real knack for being able to score with any hot woman he desires, but at the same time he has a hopeless addiction to Internet pornography. He can't go a day without checking out numerous sites. Then he meets a beauty, Barbara Sugarman (the delectable Scarlett Johansson), with whom he might be able to maintain an actual relationship. But he just can't give up his daily habit.

    This extremely well shot film attempts to take a hard look at how todays' people have hangups that prevent them from having fulfilling relationships. As we are shown, both Jon and Barbara have idealized notions: he finds Internet porn preferable to real life sex, and she's been raised on scores of romantic movies, so they've been conditioned to concentrate on fantasy rather than reality. Gordon-Levitt cannily makes references to the way that sex is sold in order to appeal to consumers, which is all part of the problem. What doesn't help is when people get too wrapped up in themselves, and cannot make connections to other flesh & blood human beings.

    There's of course lots of raunchy imagery, and quite a bit of colourful language, so this won't be for all tastes, but Gordon-Levitt is using it all in service of the plot.

    He's charming and engaging in the lead, and Johansson is similarly appealing. Julianne Moore has a delightful presence as the older woman Jon encounters in night school; it's with her that he's finally able to display some real candor. Tony Danza and Glenne Headly are fine as Jons' parents, and Rob Brown and Jeremy Luke have their moments as his friends.

    Thankfully, the script refrains from ever becoming TOO predictable.

    Eight out of 10.
  • neil-47622 November 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    Jersey boy Jon is a jack-the-lad who, despite regular sexual success with woman he picks up, still prefers to get sexual satisfaction care of on-line porn. When he enters a serious, adult, monogamous relationship with Barbara, he discovers that she regards his continuing relationship with porn as a breach of trust.

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who writes and directs as well as stars, shows that he is a film maker of considerable ability and maturity. This story is consistently entertaining, it balances humour with serious consideration of the issues involved (the reasons behind Jon's preference for porn are called into question, as are Barbara's motives), and it is well structured (particularly in its use of repetition) and well directed. Both Gordon-Levitt and Scarlet Johansen do well, Tony Danza is most enjoyable as Jon's Dad, and Julianne Moore - not an actress I care for - gives a wonderfully nuanced performance as the apparently free-spirited Esther. I hope it is recognised at awards time.

    I enjoyed this quirky indie movie quite a lot, but it is not for those who object to sex and bad language in movies.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a wonderful actor and his performance has always been par excellence for me. With Don Jon, he not only has considered himself as an all-rounder but also made himself a talented stalwart in the cinema industry.

    Don't get my appraisals so hyperbole, because: The film starts with a bang (pun unintended)! The beat music, the visual effects and the prologue as to what to expect from the guy in front of us is simply one good opening. Then, the story kicks in and the screenplay reminded me of Edgar Wright and his Cornetto trilogy. It was lovely to see the frames actually change so swiftly giving out the impression on a wider scale. The idea reaches the audience successfully. The boldness & honesty in the first part of the film makes it realistic & teenagers/adults can so highly relate to the "masturbation factor." You bet! Dialogs are very good. Pure work by the art, light & sound department.

    Then we have the performances. JGL is terrific, no doubt and his peculiar air in this would definitely make the girls drool. Then we have Scarlett Johansson who is sexy as always and acts well, too. Jullianne Moore is fine. I loved JGL's on-screen family. All of them were funny & lively & looked so real. The story is written with emotions and they kick in the second half as it gradually maneuvers into a rigid conclusion. Many reality bites have been spoken loudly in this comic romance where attention to details is one thing why direction looks good. Cinematography is good, so is the soundtrack & music. Editing could've been better.

    BOTTOM LINE: Highly Recommended! It speaks volumes about sex, masturbation & love. Let the boldness not affect you.

    Can be watched with a typical Indian family? NOT AT ALL.

    Profanity: Mediocre | Vulgarity: Very Strong | Sex/Nudity: Strong | Porn: Critical | Violence: Mediocre | Gore: No | Alcohol/Smoking: Mild
  • Anyone who has sexual, intimacy or porn addiction problems should watch this film. It will help you to heal! Even if you have none of these issues, bring your lover to this film. I guarantee you, if you're even a somewhat sensitive person, you will make passionate love to each other after watching Don Jon! It's that good!

    If you're a psychotherapist or if you lead a support group for intimacy or sex addiction problems, I highly recommend watching this film! It will benefit both you and your clients!

    While this film is geared to heterosexuals it will benefit anyone regardless of your sexual preference!

    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!

    This movies is so profound and it's ramifications are so deep I'm starting to get emotional myself as I write this review!
  • nogodnomasters12 October 2018
    Warning: Spoilers
    Don Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a bar tender who works out. He beds lots of pretty girls and loves his porn...a lot. He meets Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson) who is a ten (a dime) and he must have her. She makes him court her first, going to chick flicks. Barbara objects to porn, so Don must hide his addiction. Don also meets and older woman (Julianne Moore) who understands his porn addiction and is not judgmental.

    The plot doesn't have any real surprises or twists. My question about the film is what was the message? Relationships are important? Old fashion porn is healthy because it has relationships where modern porn does not? A guy will give up his porn on his own if he really into the relationship? i.e if your man watches porn, you're an inadequate woman or he is messed up. Or a deep Julianne Moore trumps a shallow Scarlett Johansson with a Jersey accent?

    The film follows a standard formula, except it includes porn. I never really cared for the characters. The acting was fine, but the film didn't grab me. Perhaps it was because there were simply too many scenes of Don throwing tissues into a waste basket.

    Parental Guide: Excessive f-bombs. sex, nudity, and Tony Danza as in Elton John's "Hold me close now, Tony Danza."
  • I saw this at a pre-screening for SXSW and I was really impressed. Joseph Gordon-Levitt really holds his own as a writer/director, and it was nice to see him in a role I hadn't really considered him "right" for. Scarlett Johansen and Julianne Moore are both wonderful as well. Basically, you should see this if you get the chance. It's funny, charming, different, and tells a great story that ends up going in a direction I hadn't anticipated.

    This movie basically tells the story of a young guido (Gordon-Levitt) who has a porn addiction and ends up in a relationship with Scarlett Johansen's character. One thing leads to another, blah blah blah.... you'll see when you see it. I don't want to give too much away.

    Anyway, yeah! Really good movie, great directorial debut, and a well told story. I'd recommend this film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In Don Jon writer/director/star Joseph Gordon-Levitt evades the shallows of both romantic comedy and hardcore porn by moving from isolating artifice to a genuine human engagement. His opening clip of a cartoon announces the silliness, flatness and artificiality of hero Jon's (Gordon-Levitt) life. At the end he and a mature woman have started "to get lost together."

    Initially Jon and his two buddies indulge adolescent rankings of the women they see and lust after and that Jon has the unfortunate luck to enjoy seriatim. But the other characters are also locked into mechanical behaviour. His father, Jon Sr (Tony Danza), shows where Jon Jr gets his anger, profanity and fear of human connection. Where Junior retreats to porn for fulfillment Dad invests his -- preferred fantasy -- life in his large-screen NFL coverage. He's too Old School for Tivo. Jon's mother (Glenne Headly) is locked into her reflex role, submissive housewife yearning to become a submissive granny. In her ultimate revolt she shuts off the macho TV.

    Two women shake Jon Jr out of his reliance on porn to complete his hyper-successful but failed sex life. The first, emblematically named Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson), manipulates his randiness to bring him to heel. She's so perverse she wants him to give up cleaning his (and future their) flat: "Because it's not sexy, that's why!" Her submission to romantic fantasies parallels his to porn. Both kinds of movies, like the TV ads, exploit a shallow sexuality to desensitizing effect. When she finds he's still dependent on porn she dumps him.

    Jon stumbles into a genuine relationship when he connects to Esther (Julianne Moore), at the night school business class Barbara compelled him to take. Older and both more vulnerable and knowing than Jon, Esther opens him up to exploring someone else, caring for her and trying to make sensitive connections where formerly he performed only ritual responses. Where Barbara's surname evokes indulgence, the Biblical Esther connotes devotion and care.

    This relationship is too personal, too serious, too deep to move into conventional labelling. Esther's husband and son were recently killed in a car accident -- presumably by someone else who drives with Jon's rage and danger -- which he also now outgrows. As she brings Jon what he needs to learn he brings her the joy of life that she needs to recover. They may or may not have a future together. The film refuses us the conventional happy ending, whether the gauzy wedding of Barbara's genre or the money shot of Jon's. The point is that each has brought the other the open honest connection they need now. For more go to
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