I'll tell you what PAUSED! Nation, if I had a dollar for every time I heard that very same question, PAUSED! Reviews still wouldn't be my full-time job since I'd only have about $43. I would however use some of that $43 to definitely rent this movie. Is it just me, or do you also think that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of the most underrated actors working today?
Don Jon not only strengthens the argument that Joey (aka "The Law Firm", get it? Like the NFL's Benjarvis Green-Ellis...his name sounds law firm-ish) is quickly earning a spot amongst the Hollywood acting elite, but it also shows off his writing and directing chops. It gives us a peek at the greatness we can expect from this uber talented individual.
Now, before we jump in to the meat and potatoes, take a second to check out the trailer for Don Jon, in case you aren't familiar with the film.
BE WARNED, YOU GET MORE THAN YOU'D EXPECT
In a nutshell, Don Jon tells the tale of a Jersey kid named...well his name is obviously Jon (Gordon-Levitt). Now Jon, playboy extraordinaire, falls for a Jersey beauty named Barbara (Johansson). The only problem is that Jon is not totally available. He suffers from extreme intimacy and relationship issues due to the completely unrealistic expectations he has developed from his frighteningly severe porn addiction. As you can imagine things between the two eventually come to a head as Jon tries to unblur the lines between the porn-like life he dreams of and the real-world love and intimacy he truly craves.
Now while I thought I understood the premise of this movie going into watching it, I quickly realized that I was not fully prepared for what I was about to witness. What I thought I was going to get was the silver screen version of Jersey Shore, with a little substance. What I got was an addiction film that shows just how much one man's unhealthy obsessions can threaten his life and happiness. I couldn't have been more relieved. I was captivated by Gordon-Levitt's portrayal of Jon and how relatable he makes the story.
Now as I said, I was ill prepared for what I was about to witness. This is not a film for the faint or squeamish when it comes to the topic of sex. In fact there were a few scenes where even I felt just a bit filthy and uncomfortable. However it is this tension and attack of the senses that really helps to set the scene for just how bad this guys problem is. You quickly find yourself relating to this character and become captivated by the brilliant performances in this film. Sure, sex and porn may not be your drug, but we've all got something we are a little too obsessed with, and Gordon-Levitt strikes that chord in you perfectly and sucks you into the movie right from the very start.
ALL-STAR CAST BRINGS IT IN THIS ONE
Like I said, Gordon-Levitt really shows that he deserves to be included in the acting elite. In recent years the man has simply killed it in every role he's taken on. However this film places him on another level as he shows he's just as talented behind the camera as he is in front of it. From the script, to the music, to the editing, this film shows real skill and fires us up to see what he might bring out next.
Couple that with Scarlett Johansson's brilliant turn as the second lead who you definitely will love to hate, and you have the first blocks in place.
Now, add in a solid performance from Julianne Moore and amazing ensemble performances from Glenne Headly and Tony Danza, and this film knocks it out of the park. And seriously, Tony Danza is a genius in this movie, who would've guessed? I was crazy impressed by everyone in this film and it's truly the characters that drive it. So well done there.
So, what are my thoughts overall?
I give Don Jon a 7.5/10. However, I cannot stress enough, that should you decide to watch this film, be sure you know what you are getting into. It is abrasive, offensive, and brilliant. For me it is definitely worth the watch, and worth the full-price, on-demand rental cost. Joseph Gordon-Levitt proves he's legit and raises the bar for what we should expect from him down the road. Hopefully he will continue to deliver and not be a one-hit wonder.
So, check it out and let us know your thoughts. As always, you can reach us by commenting on this post, or...
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