Don Jon is the surprisingly heartwarming and funny take on modern pick-up, club, young person, Jersey Shore-style culture.
With perfectly nailed performances by its leads, and a surprisingly adept hand at writing and directing which were also handled by Gordon-Levitt, Don Jon makes a surprisingly good debut feature directorial debut for the talented young actor. Surprisingly seems to be a good word in general for this movie.
Jon Martello (Gordon-Levitt) is a modern day Casanova, high off his own ego, who spends his days and nights heading out with his very similar group of friends, in hopes of pulling “perfect 10s” from the night clubs they frequent. As he puts it, he has very few interests he cares about, such as the gym, his car, sex, and pornography. Despite his outward confidence, Jon finds himself unsatisfied by sex, and prefers the fantasies created by pornography, which has since turned into a full blown addiction. He meets Barbara Sugarman, played fantastically by Johansson in a wonderfully funny Guido-Princess-esque mold, and a romance soon blossoms between them, although it is soon curtailed by Jon’s inability to let go of his addiction.
What happens next is a wonderfully funny and mature contemplation on what sex and pornography and the expectations of both mean in today’s society. I found myself caring much more for the protagonist than what I might have done so initially, and Gordon-Levitt does a great job of showing his personal growth at every level.
If this movie has any flaws, it has very few laugh out loud moments for a supposed comedy, but at the same time, the tone is enjoyably pleasant and humorous for the most part. I recommend it for a viewing with the right audience, as there are some rather explicit sexual depictions.