Don Jon

6.6 IMDb
18 January 2013 Release
$ 3 000 000 Budget
Duration
Genres:Comedy, Drama, Romance
Year:2013
Country:USA
Director:
Writer:
10 Votes
70%

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Jon Martello objectifies everything in his life: his apartment, his car, his family, his church, and, of course, women. His buddies even call him Don Jon because of his ability to pull "10s" every weekend without fail. Yet even the finest flings don't compare to the transcendent bliss he achieves alone in front of the computer watching pornography. Dissatisfied, he embarks on a journey to find a more gratifying sex life, but ends up learning larger lessons of life and love through relationships with two very different women.

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Movie Comments

  1. starsandpopcorn, 4 weeks ago
    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.
  2. Benedict_Cumberbatch, 4 weeks ago
    "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!
  3. MikeM1984, 4 weeks ago
    (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.
  4. Peter Black, 3 weeks ago
    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.