Don Jon

2013

Comedy / Drama

Synopsis


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December 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm

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1280*544
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 30 min
P/S 55 / 462
1.24 GB
1920*800
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 30 min
P/S 21 / 136

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by eschetic-2 7 / 10

Solid, hard to define indie satire which will make some very uncomfortable - EXCELLENT first directorial effort!

Defining what kind of film this is had to be the hardest part of getting DON JON made, but ultimately it was worth it! It isn't really a "guy" film even though *technically* it tries to look at sex from a guy's perspective. It may actually best be called a "chick" flick, but one they would see alone rather than with a date. At the screening I saw, ALL the raucous laughter was coming from very obviously female voices - falling out of their chairs laughing over what they viewed as stereotypical male behavior - and even as the supposed "10" played by Scarlett Johansson reveals herself to be the kind of demanding (insert the word for a female canine here) who a very stupid - make that excessively immature - straight boy (like the one played with supreme elan by author/director Gordon-Levitt) would make a fool of himself over!

The film heavily satirizes stereotypical straight New Jersey Catholics - the easily offended of which should probably stay away along with anyone who expects a slick date night romantic comedy that doesn't require them to THINK - but it IS a beautifully structured and polished first directorial effort and very funny in its way. Man or woman though, it is not your usual DATE film to see with the opposite sex. The litmus scene for the film was probably when Johansson (Barbara) confronts Gordon-Levitt (Jon) over watching porn! Foolishly trying to evoke simple reason, he (accurately) tells her that "EVERY guy watches porn - and that anyone who says he doesn't is lying." The theatre got absolutely quiet there for a moment in any section where dates were sitting, as each side wondered what the other was thinking. What YOU may think in that scene will determine a lot about how you view and react to the film. You may enjoy it regardless of what you think of that (for the film) core issue, but you sure won't want to see it with anyone who you can't comfortably talk about it with.

The "home" scenes with Jon's family and Barbara's are probably excess baggage, but they give the central characters broad context (the broadest performance in a very stylized film is probably Tony Danza's performance as Jon's father) - and set up the one totally human moment in the film when Jon's silent sister defines what a good sibling should be when she finally has a line! Ultimately, there is one unexpected, rational woman (Julianne Moore giving a remarkable imitation of Susan Sarandon!) who Jon meets in the night class Barbara insists he take who not only "gets" him but broadens his horizons for the kind of growth any central character in a good film must have.

Don't expect a pat happy ending or a cheap thought-free throw away comedy (and DON'T make it first date material with someone you don't know yet!), and the open minded will have a wonderful time. My take-away image is really of a few years ago at the first Broadway preview of a Tony winning musical called AVENUE Q. Just before it started, a student of mine at the university where I teach came over to introduce his mother who was seeing the show too, sitting in front of each other all the way over at the side. Midway through the show there was a very funny, very outrageous musical number called "You Can Be As Loud As You Want" (When You're making Love). I glanced over to see how my student and his mother were taking it and, as you can imagine, my student, sitting in front of his mother, was sinking onto the floor with embarrassment. What he *couldn't see* was his mother rocking with laughter both at the insouciance of the number and her son's embarrassment! I think my mother (who, as far as I know, probably doesn't approve of pornography) or my minister would be howling with laughter at DON JON too - but they probably wouldn't want anyone they knew to see them doing so.

Recommended - but with noted reservations.

Reviewed by Peter Black 10 / 10

Every human male should watch this movie

I give this movie a 10 because it has a message. It has a true purpose to it, which effects nearly every man on the planet.

Ladies, you can listen to this, but be reasonable. Guys, we all masturbate. Some of us do it more than others, most of us look at porn. Some of us only masturbate to porn and some of us have real hard fetishes.

This movie points to the problem, the process of porn turning our heads, making us believe in perfection and making us ultimately selfish as lovers.

You watch porn, you don't have to please a woman, you don't have to worry about anyone but yourself. It is all perfect. In the real world, in relationships, the other person matters just as much as you, but sometimes, even the real thing is not as good as the fantasy and the ease of it.

Don Jon is about that confusion of liking and appreciating porn more than real women, of becoming addicted to the idea of 'perfection' and the ultimate realization of the effect it has on all us men, making us irritated little boys, incapable of truly connecting with another person.

The message is not that porn is bad, only the way we think and use it is misleading to reality.

But, this is not the type of movie to watch with the family, the girl; it's funny, but not a comedy in a spoof and clown type of way. Watch this movie alone, think about yourself and how porn effects you. It will benefit you greatly.

Reviewed by JustCuriosity 8 / 10

Joseph Gordon-Levitt delivers a Stinging Critique of Modern Relationships

Don Jon was very well-received in its regional premiere at the Paramount Theatre during Austin's SXSW Film Festival. The film was written, directed and starred Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He did a really fine job for his writing and directorial debut, but he may have been trying to do too much. The acting by Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly, and Brie Larson is quite good. I think it is Gordon-Levitt's script that leaves something to be desired. His character Jon is a very successful ladies' man who is also heavily addicted to masturbating to internet porn – numerous times daily. Many people will find the film to be quite funny and enjoyable. However, the graphic use of porn will not be to everybody's taste and may be off-putting to viewers – particularly female viewers. I'm also wondering whether the extensive use of porn will lead to the MPAA giving it the kiss-of-death NC-17 rather than an R rating.

JGL's script is well-intentioned and he is trying to make the point that many people become so self-absorbed that they lose the ability to interact with others on a human level. Jon is deadened to real romance by his reliance on porn. His girlfriend has an overly romanticized view of relationships based on watching too many romantic movies. They are both so self-absorbed and selfish that they can't really build a real relationship. Still, it was often difficult to figure out what JGL's point was and in many ways became clearer listening to him during the Q&A after the film. JGL is attempting to raise profound issues about human relationships in the modern era, but he hasn't quite figured out how to do that as a writer and director. I expect that he is going to become as fine a director and writer as he already is an actor. He has a fine future ahead of him.

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