In the life of Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), there are only a few things that matter in life to him: his body, his pad, his ride, his family, church, his boys, his girls….and his porn. He believes that his loses himself a lot more watching porn than having sex. However, when Jon meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), Jon soon finds his world turned upside down. Barbara finds out about Jon’s obsession and makes him stop, as well as go to school, and change his lifestyle. Jon willingly obliges because he truly feels he loves Barbara. Now Jon has to decide whether this will all be worth it in the end.
Don Jon not only stars, but is also written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. For his directorial debut, Levitt does a fairly decent job. He had a vision of where he wanted the film to go. It got there, but unfortunately, the ride came off as a long one. The film has solid acting by its cast; Levitt and Johansson have some decent chemistry together and you can tell they had fun with their scenes together. We are also given some comical moments between these two as well as some even funnier moments with Levitt’s parents in the film played by Tony Danza and Glenne Headly. Brie Larson is also present in the almost silent (and always texting) role of Jon’s sister. Also, highly noted is Julianne Moore as Esther, a woman in Jon’s night class that soon becomes his confidant. While Johansson and Levitt have some good scenes together, it’s the moments between Levitt and Moore that stand out the most. However, with that said, there are aspects of the film that really drag it down in the long run. With a running time of only 90 minutes, the first half of Don Jon becomes so repetitive and boring that it makes the film drag on making it seems longer than it actually is. Yes, some of these aspects are supposed to show just how much of a junkie Jon is, but it definitely cut back a lot. After the first half of the movie, and when the turning point of the film occurs, that’s when things begin to get better, it finally gets to the heart of the story and where we finally get to see the characters and their true colors. The payoff in the end is a pleasant one and was the best way to end the film.
For his first film, I give Levitt quite a bit of credit for the vision he had, but as stated, it just seemed like it took too long for it to get there. But the last half of the film as well as the comical moments and the film’s cast lift it up quite a bit, preventing it from falling flat.
My rating: 6/10