Don Jon Review
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore and Tony Danza
Running Time: 1hr30mins
Rising talent! Freak of nature! He’s on everyone’s must watch list!
Those are only some of the statements associated with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who takes his career in a new direction, (no pun intended), with his latest directorial feature – Don Jon.
Writer/Director Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s film is about lust, love, life and having what you want versus what you need.
Jon, otherwise known as Don Jon by his friends, is living La Vida Loca! He drives a fast car, works at a club, has a cool apartment, hook-ups with hot girls, and is praised by his peers. When he meets the girl of his dreams, he has to choose between her, or his real lover – internet pornography.
He’s at that stage in his career where people are no longer unaware of him. JGL is in such an early stage of his career, and he’s already worked with the likes of Steven Spielberg and Christopher Nolan.
He certainly has grown up a lot since his days on “3rd Rock from the Sun”, but already then, his talent was noticed. After a brief retirement to study, he returned to acting on the Indie circuit and has so cleverly layered his career into A-List territory.
Having written and directed several short films, it was no surprise to hear of his first full feature debut. When the synopsis of the film was released, I found it very strange for him to tackle this kind of story, and yet, I couldn’t think of anyone better suited for it.
Don Jon is a portrait of young men living in the 2010’s. He’s got full on bigorexia, has the fast car, hooks-up with different girls every week, wears all the hair products he can and only wears the best clothes.
JGL paints a portrait of today’s culture, whether it’s his adolescent constantly – texting sister, his girlfriend’s love of romantic films, to telling his dad about TiVo!
From start to finish, we’re taken into a journey of his transformation. The man he is at the end of the film is certainly not the same man we see in the beginning. At the start, he only indulges in what he likes and what he thinks is cool. That all changes when he meets Barbara, (Johansson), and he learns that having the ‘gem’ of a girl isn’t all he thought it was.
The cast is fantastic, and we see great performances from JGL, as well as Tony Danza whose performance, I feel, was very overlooked during award season.
For a first time director in a feature film, he really handles the film with so much composure and skills that would rival a director with years of experience. His tone is consistent, and his story goes on without and hiccups. As repulsive as Jon is, we can’t help but immerse ourselves into his life. Partly because it was like watching someone in real life, but also because that’s what any great director does.
The script was so unique and well written; that I believe ‘Don Jon’ is a whole new genre of film. This film had a whole life of its own, showing the audience many things about our lives, as well as showing us that we always get a chance to change and better ourselves.
Don Jon is an example that sometimes you don’t find happiness, but happiness finds you. I was left reminded of the fact that you can look for happiness at the wrong place, and find it somewhere completely unexpected.
If only more films were like this! It takes the ‘predictable, fairy tale ‘out, and brings the fresh air of originality and a ‘rom-com’ set in the real world.
This film was clever, sexy, and a breath of fresh air!