BY KILEY BELL
If you are able to, then I highly suggest suffering your way through Scarlett Johansson’s pretty-terrible Jersey accent in order to watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s new film, Don Jon. As a strange mix between Steve McQueen’s Shame and an episode of Jersey Shore (although clearly one more than the other), Don Jon is every bit as sexy, funny and somehow endearing as hoped.
The plot remains pretty simple: Main character Jon (JGL) has a porn addiction which his girlfriend finds out about and condemns him for. This causes him to go on a little self journey to find success and happiness in life (without the use of his laptop every night). It’s a simple plot, but it works.
The casting alone is pretty great: Julianne Moore as a stoner widow, Scarlett Johansson as the controlling “perfect 10” girlfriend, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a beefed up version of himself that only cares about the important things in life (to paraphrase: his body, his pad, his ride, his family, his church, his boys, his girls… and of course, his porn). Add in the fact that Tony Danza was cast as Jon’s uber Italian, sports-loving, wife beater-wearing father (Jon Sr.) and it just gets that much better.
Regardless of whether or not the plot held up, it’s important to note that this is Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s debut as a director for a feature film. It takes a special kind of person to smoothly make the transition from actor to director and Joseph did it very well. There weren’t a lot of flaws in this film–aside from the fact that I can tell you right now if many, many random clips of porn and watching “bros” trash talk women at clubs isn’t your thing, then you’ll probably find this movie a little perverse. What I mean by that is, I’d most definitely recommend this movie to my friends, but you couldn’t pay me enough to tell my 60-something-year-old father to watch it. It’s definitely a generational film. The generation that understands the phrase “gym, tan, laundry” and aren’t at all fazed by someone describing the best sex positions in length (with aid from clips of pornography, of course) will enjoy this movie.
If you think of this film as one long extended episode of Jersey Shore, then you’re probably going to miss the point of it. Once Julianne Moore’s character is introduced (quite late in the film) the plot takes a bit of a turning point and suddenly it’s more than just a cheesy movie with loads of sex. The characters really begin to emerge, and things start to get surprisingly heartfelt. Without revealing too many spoilers, the film finally gains some significance towards the end… You just need to get past all the clips of porn stars having sex first.
A student of Centennial’s post-graduate Book and Magazine publishing program, Kiley enjoys spending most of her time crying over Tom Hanks romcoms, watching Downton Abbey and hoping that Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen continue making movies with only each other.