Sat 23 Nov 2013
Sometimes I feel sorry for not liking a movie. It usually happens when I see tones of good intentions and talent put into a film, and yet the result is a disaster, or very far below the expectations. This is the case with this film written, directed and acted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. If one looks at the cinematographic record of this 32-years young man he will see 63 movies on his acting record, 6 entries as a director and only 2 as a writer. These numbers actually tell the story of why ‘Don Jon’ is such a failure (IMHO of course).
Don Jon has in my eyes the most unbelievable and PC-twisted story that I have seen lately. Jon (J.G.-L. himself acting) is a blue collar (way of saying, we never know what his work is) young guy from New Jersey. His life is as empty in content as any life of a hero from New Jersey seems to be in movies – he works, goes to the gym, drives as crazy to church on Sundays, then confesses the sins of the previous week to the priest, and begins sinning again. At night he hangs out in discos with his friends, chases girl, beds a number of them – not in the low numbers, and they are all good looking. Did I say he is good looking too? There is only one problem – he is also a porn addict. After having sex with women, he sneaks out of the bed to watch porn! Even when he meets ‘the most beautiful thing in the world’ (Barbara – Scarlett Johansson) and falls in love with her he cannot give up his habit. Which of course, endangers the relationship. Well, losers and twisted minds exist, and they make movies about them, some are good. The problem is that in this story the script decided that vice needs a cure, and the cure comes under the face of a much older woman (Julianne Moore) who teaches him a great secret – well, I will not tell more, just that this seems so conventional that it is really ridiculous.
Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is actually a perfect fit for the role, and Scarlett Johansson succeeds to bring to life the emptiness behind the physical beauty of a ‘suburb princess’. Julianne Moore is a fine actress, but unfortunately she fails to convince and lacks the magnetism necessary to make the ‘cure’ credible. It was also great to see again Tony Danza of ‘Who’s the Boss’ fame as Jon’s father (or Jon’s variant 25 years later). Director Joseph Gordon-Levitt has some interesting ideas, although I am not crazy about the trend of using video clips techniques in a repetitive manner in feature movies like this one. Unfortunately neither the actors (including Joseph Gordon-Levitt), nor the director Joseph Gordon-Levitt could compensate the flaws of the script written by writer Joseph Gordon-Levitt. From my point of view his only success with ‘Don Jon’ is to have made the first film with Scarlett Johansson that I did not like.