There’s no doubt that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a talented actor, and with Don Jon, he shows he is also a talented writer and first time director.
He plays a young man in New Jersey who seems to have everything in life going well for him. His friends call him Don Jon because he seems to have no trouble picking up attractive girls every weekend for casual sex. He’s handsome, buff, lives in a nice apartment, presumably has a steady job, attends night school, goes to church every Sunday with his family, but is seriously addicted to watching pornography on the Internet. He even confesses his sex addiction to his priest every Sunday, and admits to himself he finds the porn more satisfying that the real relationships.
Then he meets a girl who is harder to get, played by a romantic, but sexy Scarlett Johansson. However, she can’t stand his porn addiction. Meanwhile he meets an older woman (Julianne Moore) at night school, who helps him start figuring out what’s more important in life.
There’s a mixed message here. Part of it is that porn is bad and not anything to do with real life. However, the glimpses we get to see in the movie of porn make it look funny and appealing (especially for young males). Also amusing is Gordon-Levitt’s working class family, especially his sports addicted father (Tony Danza).
It ends a little abruptly and the subject matter, frank sexuality and swearing will be offensive to some.
Rating: four deer out of five
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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.