Don Jon Review: Rom-Com Or Drug Movie?

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt seems to be charming his way to the top of Hollywood. Making his directorial debut, the star has created a pretty clever comedy. But as with most debuts, it’s far from perfect.

Don Jon presents its lead protagonist in its opening moments as a very typical Jersey Shore type of guy. He loves his family, goes to church every Sunday, and spends most of his free time working out. Except when he’s watching porn, his addiction of sorts.

That’s what Don Jon is really about. What looked like a more traditional rom-com (starring the everyman Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the sultry Scarlett Johansson!) is actually a lot closer to Trainspotting than The Vow.

When Jon starts dating Barbara (Johansson), it seems to change him, but not his attitude towards porn. Still, the pair have great chemistry. Gordon-Levitt and Johansson are clearly having the time of their lives onscreen.

Yet Jon still needs the porn, which he claims to like better than actual sex.

Enter Esther (Julianne Moore), an older woman Jon shares a class with who has some sage advice for Jon, find someone you can lose yourself in.

The story intricately weaves around the women in Jon’s life for most of the second half of the movie. Sadly, the film has a pretty abrupt ending. It’s a satisfying conclusion, but if Gordon-Levitt had nixed the cheesy voice over for a few extra minutes to let the ending land, Don Jon could have been a much better movie.

But it is still a pretty good one. It’s not nearly as good as some of the films he’s just acted in (looking at you 500 Days of Summer and The Dark Knight Rises), but I look forward to the next movie he directs. Grade: B

By Matt Dougherty

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