Directed By: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore
The writer/director/actor passion project can be very tricky. Sometimes it works but most times the trick is to not take yourself too seriously. Don Jon does just that.
Jon Martello (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is an Italian stud who beds a lot of women but likes watching porn more than actual sex. One night at a club he meets Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson) and he becomes obsessed with this seemingly perfect woman. As they begin to date she spurns his sexual advances but convinces him to start changing his ways, including his porn habit and going to night school. But can a self-obsessed guy really change his ways and meet the high expectations of a strong-willed woman?
Whatever you think you know about this movie is wrong. The trailer and television spots tried to sell it as a comedy. It isn’t. What we get is ninety minutes of awful Boston accents, incoherent plot lines and characterizations of women so sexist I can’t believe that the actresses in this movie agreed to be in it. I’m sure Joseph Gordon-Levitt thought he was making a movie with something to say about relationships in the modern age but all he did was use stereotypes as characters. And because of that there isn’t a likable character in the entire movie.
The real shame here is that there are at least four great actors in this movie who are stuck in the sludge that is this script. Probably the worst character in the film is Julianne Moore’s free spirited pothead older woman who returns to school to teach us a lesson about…something. I really cannot stress how awful these characters are. Scarlett Johansson’s Barbara has “controlling bitch” practically tattooed across her formfitting dress the first time she appears on screen. And really that is the high point for her character. From then on she just devolves into the stereotypical Bostonian girl who is mouthy and manipulative and always has to be right. ScarJo deserves better.
Even though Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson have top billing in this movie there is a third lead, namely porn. There is a certain website that must have paid a mint to get featured as much as it does. I’m not going to give the url but I’m sure if you do a search it will be near the top of the page. But aside from paid advertisement, pornography is featured time and time again. Sure there are “points” made about how porn isn’t a true representation of sex and how those unrealistic expectations can drive a stake through the heart of intimacy but ultimately porn is pretty glamorized throughout the movie. So much so that by the end of the movie when we learn that intimacy is really just a portal for better sex we are so desensitized that it seems pointless to try and argue. What a mess of a movie.
1080p resolution presented in 2.40:1 widescreen aspect. It looked good but does a movie like this really need to look pretty?
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Once again, it sounded good. I will give some props here because the use of dubstep in the club scenes sounds really good. On a surround sound system I’m sure it would be amazing.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
True to form this is a blue transparent clamshell case with a cardboard slip cover, dvd and digital copy. Nothing fancy. We do get a bonus making of featurette and a few other nonsensical and time wasting things that are really just more ego stroking for HitRECord Films. There isn’t anything worth watching here.
I was looking forward to watching Don Jon but that experience was wrought with disappointment, betrayal and lies. A tonal change might have been in order for this movie to have any merit but I really don’t think it would have helped.
Overall (Not an Average) 3/10