Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Don Jon

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a massive wanker. That’s the plot of the newly released Don Jon, out on DVD and Blu-ray now, also starring Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, and even ‘Hold Me Closer’ Tony Danza. Even though “porn addiction” is what the plot focuses on it manages to remain a light-hearted film and despite being the directing debut of Gordon-Levitt it possesses a very mature and interesting directing style.


Don Jon (Gordon-Levitt) is a womaniser but one of the nice ones. A good looking Italian guy who just wants to go out and have fun with his friends and sleep with as many women as possible.  Seemingly quite an introspective man Don Jon eventually realises, after a lifetime of sleeping with women uncontrollably just for the sake of it, that he wants a relationship with someone special. Even though he sleeps with a new woman every night he is finding little stimulation in it because of his addiction, and possible desensitisation, to pornography and all the ridiculous moves and faces and noises and expressions and costumes and bodily functions and weeping and safe words and animals and musk and enlargements and reductions and the like that the internet can throw at him.


 He soon comes across Barbara (Johansson) in a club, Facebook stalks her, and invites her out for lunch.  She is everything he could ever want in a woman, I would describe her but it’s basically just a slightly “Jersey Girl” version of Scarlett Johansson, with a penchant for tight dresses and condescending looks.  She forces him to go back to school so he can pursue a career in something important and there he meets Esther who catches him watching porn on his phone because Barbara is being a passive aggressive spoilt little control freak… who doesn’t realise that he does everything for her and despite all his hard work and attention always falls short of the bullshit she has in mind, and just because he doesn’t do everything she wants him to he is in the wrong… in short, a bitch. I would normally worship the air that Scarlett would fart into but due to her being a great actress and her character being SUCH a bitch, I would rather peel my skin off and roll around in salty snake venom. Anyway Esther brings him some ‘erotica’ and they eventually develop a pleasant bond over sexuality and what it means to be a person, and as I said, Jon is very introspective and this causes him to grow very quickly… it’s all very lovely and pleasant.


Overall it’s a very lovely enjoyable film, one you wouldn’t necessarily suggest to your grandparents, but a nice one nonetheless.  Little moments of direction make the film very charming, such as the frequent use of the Apple Mac startup ‘bong’ noise when he turns his laptop on for his ’Hamshank Redemption’ and then the use of the Apple Mac Trash sound effect when he disposes of his tissues.  The only thing is… it feels like this should be a better film. I would struggle to find anything wrong to say about the film, but it also seems like it was one minor decision from the Godfather of films about wanking. I just can’t pin point what that is.  For someone out there, this film is going to be the best film they’ve ever seen. Regardless, I think anyone will be able to enjoy Don Jon and will take something away from it.

It gets a 3/5.

[★★★☆☆]

Dave Roberts


Don Jon at CeX



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