More often than not, child stars will find fame and success early on, but will slowly disappear (or go crazy) as they grow into adults. One child star, however, has defied the odds and has taken the world of movies by storm recently! He’s appeared in numerous movies in just the last year and is steadily making a name for himself as one of Hollywood’s best! Now, this very man has his own website to help anyone and everyone make every form of art AND he has Written, Directed and Starred in his first film, Don Jon. This ever talented man, is Joseph Gordon-Levitt!
Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) lives an interesting life. There’s only a few things he really cares about in life. His body, his pad, his ride, his family, his church, his boys, his girls and his porn… He especially loves the last one in that bunch. Jon can’t go a day without watching his favorite obsession. To him, it’s better than real life. Since he watches it so often, he starts to form unrealistic expectations of what love and relationships are like. This may work fine with his one night stands, but what happens when Jon meets a total dime who’s more stubborn than his own family?
Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) is the dime of all dimes (a 10 on the hot scale) and she’s got the personality to go with it. She’s fun, flirty and sassy and is ruled by romantic movies. Whereas Jon has his porn, Barbara relies on cheesy romantic films to tell her what love is all about. The attraction is there, but each has their different views. As they try to make it work, they’ll butt heads and Jon will have more and more to confess at confession. Yes, he goes to confession. Things only get more stressful when Barbara meets Jon’s family. We find that Jon Sr. (Tony Danza) and his wife Angela (Glenne Headly) had their own issues when they were younger and their stubborn Jersey attitudes don’t make for “calm” conversations. With all this going on, an unlikely friend in a woman named Esther (Julianne Moore) will make Jon rethink his life and his outlooks on everything!
(500) Days of Summer popped into my head after watching this film. Not only because they both star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but because they both have a protagonist with an altered view of what love is and how relationships work. While Tom was a believer in true love, Jon believes that love is when a girl does certain things to you because you’re in a relationship. Typically, that’s not how it works, so naturally, Jon struggles to find happiness. Plus, he probably spends more time on the computer than he does with actual women, so that doesn’t help his case.
From start to finish, I was laughing my ass off at how funny this film was. Not only was it funny, but it also had a great message (wait for me to finish my thought before you make assumptions). The effects that media has on people is astounding and everybody forms preconceptions based off of what they see and hear. The characters in this film clearly demonstrate that and you’ll either find yourself relating to them one level, or comparing them to people you know. Due to the taint that social media has on our views, everybody is a bit jaded and needs to step back every now-and-again, as to take in a fresh breath of reality.
This film doesn’t hold back at all. Here is some of what you will find in Don Jon: Vulgar and Explicit Language, Nudity, Sex, Alcohol, Porn and much, much more. JGL put everything into this project and didn’t leave anything out! For me, that made the film more real and even better. It was hilarious to see the reactions of the people around me, because some were not so comfortable will all the pornography. This is not a film for kids and is certainly not one that you’ll want to go see with your parents. Instead, I’d recommend seeing it with close friends so that you can laugh, relate and have an amazing time at the movies!
For his first feature film, Joseph Gordon-Levitt did a pretty awesome job. However, there are still a few inconsistencies and parts of Don Jon that didn’t work too well. The handling of Johansson’s character dissolves as the film progresses. Her character becomes somewhat unpredictable and you won’t always agree with her choices. The film also does get very repetitive from time-to-time and that can get a bit uninteresting, because you’ve seen it all before. More so than those problems, is the fact that Julianne Moore’s character and story doesn’t really fit well with the film. She’s great in the movie, but she didn’t necessarily have the best introduction and integration into the film.
At the end of the day, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a lot to be proud of. His first feature film that he’s written and directed wasn’t a flop and it’s actually pretty good. His artistic view and style of direction and editing proves for one of the best times at the movies, despite the fact that you may get slightly uncomfortable. He’s an amazing actor who is just now scratching the surface with Don Jon and he will go on to do bigger and better projects in the future! I’d highly recommend this film to anyone above the age of 17 because this is a fun film that will have you laughing and will tell you a hauntingly true story about the effects of social media on most everyone. It’s relatable in many ways (not that I want you to share why) and it’s a great first effort from JGL!
Don Jon Trailer