By: Grant Vance
Joseph Gordon-Levitt brings about his triple-threat of starring, writing and directing through the fun, satirical vehicle of “Don Jon.”
“Don Jon” throws audiences right in the midst of its plot and commentary through its lead character Jon (Gordon-Levitt), appointed by his boys “the Don,” and into his constant struggle of not finding satisfaction in his in- teractions with women.
Gordon-Levitt takes the ever- so-prominent issue of finding physical happiness in a digital age and sticks it right in the audience’s face by showing the juxtaposition of Jon’s happiness watching por- nography compared to his hap- piness taking home women from clubs.
The plot of “Don Jon” was in- credibly character-driven with his addiction and the way this addic- tion was handled when Jon sup- posedly fell in love with Barbara (Scarlett Johansson).
Seeing Jon deal with “love” around his family and his ”boys” adds further layers to the main plot point of physical versus digital pleasure, greatly distinguishing and reinforcing the distinct parallels between these two seemingly different worlds.
Although this is a serious is- sue, especially for this generation, Gordon-Levitt lightens the mood and makes the film more enjoy- able through his mechanical and successful use of humor.
“Don Jon” succeeds in most of its goals but falls short in a couple of areas: its pacing and its repetitiveness.
While this may be nit-picky, the feel of the film seems rushed and inappropriately timed at points.
Julianne Moore’s Esther was a very pivotal character to this story, but the way Gordon-Levitt chose to work her into the story seemed a bit forced and out of place.
Gordon-Levitt’s performance stuck out the most. His role was out of his comfort zone.
He plays the part well for the most part, with a couple points in the film where he seems less “Jon” and more “Gordon-Levitt.”
Overall, “Don Jon” was an enjoyable, fun ride with enough laughs and well-executed social commentary to carry its shortcomings.
This was Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut, so audiences can certainly expect to see his next project soon down the line.