Wednesday, October 9 2013, 10:27 AM MDT
Movie Review: Don Jon
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Recommended To: Those looking for an edgy drama that addresses the impact of pornography can have on a person’s relationships without feeling preachy or contrived.
Synopsis: Jon’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) love for his family, church and friends is only rivaled by his dedication to porn. As a result Jon struggles to find fulfillment in his romantic relationships.
Review: What makes Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut special is that he is able to make a cautionary film that never feels preachy. It speaks directly to its audience without insulting its intelligence or attacking its sense of morality. His character, Jon, on the surface is a fairly abrasive everyman, but this ultimately aids to emphasis the character’s unexpected growth. It also sets the groundwork for the film’s most unexpected twist as Gordon-Levitt, who also penned the script, also does a remarkable job of going against audience expectation by featuring supporting characters that are more complex than they initially appear. You might think you’re dealing with stock characters; you aren’t. Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore are wonderful in their roles, but the real joy is seeing Gordon-Levitt and Tony Danza interact as father and son.
Don Jon isn’t a flawless debut, but it is remarkable nonetheless and suggests that Gordon-Levitt will not only continue to be one of my favorite actors, he might become one of my favorite writer/directors as well.
-Ryan Michael Painter