Don Jon was one of the movies I’d been looking forward to this year. The reasons, obvious: Its written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the previews were good and Scarlett Johansson looked insanely hot in it. Don Jon deals with porn addiction and in essence, I felt, it largely a movie for the masculine crowd. Take it or leave it. But that’s not to say the feminine mass can’t enjoy it, for starters it stars JGL.
Jon Martello, played by JGL himself, is a pornography addict and its his quirks, awkward moments and the addiction that makes the movie. Don Jon has a lot of little things that adheres to your viewing pleasure. And no it’s not the titillating scenes that I’m taking about. It’s the little things that makes a good movie, scenes that bring a smile on your face, a chuckle every now and then. The subject matter of porn could have easily slid into being crude but thanks to JGL’s skilled direction, its never crossed the offensive line and instead it took a lighter and a more stylish path. JGL’s direction instills comedy and immense awkwardness in Don Jon. And unlike Steve McQueen’s Shame it steers clear of drama and serious notes up until its final act.
JGL packs an infinite charm and confidence here. It felt like he’s finally broken out of his boyish molds. Well we did get a sample in Killshot‘s Richie Nix but here he just puts it all upfront with his convincing Italian accent and all. Scarlett Johansson was just as brilliant and again not coz she’s hot. Well she is, but the way she talked, the way she delivered her lines, its impeccable acting prowess. Her accent, which initially put me off, came with her character and she did a grand job. Its one of her finest roles ever, outside Woody Allen movies.
The supporting cast was splendid as well. I wondered what Brie Larson had been doing playing Jon’s texting-obsessed sister who barely had anything to do or say and there were times when I felt her character was just there for the sake of it, under developed…but towards the final act it changed, in an instant! Tony Danza, despite his limited screentime, shared an immaculate chemistry with JGL.
The movie is what I’d call slick, atleast the first two acts. The visuals had a lot of editing done to, that added to the visual flair. And add to that an awesome soundtrack, Don Jon becomes a stellar treat. Who wouldn’t shake their heads to Marky Mark And The Funky Bunch’s Good Vibrations?
Don Jon aint without its flaws though. I couldn’t buy into the events that redeems him towards the end. The scope of the story could have much more but I guess keeping it short worked best. Julianne Moore’s character could have had a bit more back story. I just didn’t get what her catch was. Now lets talk about the steamy scenes, yes there are plenty but nothing to be delirious or appalled about; it just blends well with narrative.
Ultimately Don Jon is a refreshing movie owing everything to its sumptuous performances, stellar cast, stunning visuals, music and was terrific for a directorial debut. It makes me wanna see more of JGL’s film-making skills.