Jon Martello objectifies everything in his life: his apartment, his car, his family, his church, and, of course, women. His buddies even call him Don Jon because of his ability to pull "10s" every weekend without fail. Yet even the finest flings don't compare to the transcendent bliss he achieves alone in front of the computer watching pornography. Dissatisfied, he embarks on a journey to find a more gratifying sex life, but ends up learning larger lessons of life and love through relationships with two very different women. Written by
Joseph Gordon-Levitt delivers a Stinging Critique of Modern Relationships
Don Jon was very well-received in its regional premiere at the Paramount Theatre during Austin's SXSW Film Festival. The film was written, directed and starred Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He did a really fine job for his writing and directorial debut, but he may have been trying to do too much. The acting by Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly, and Brie Larson is quite good. I think it is Gordon-Levitt's script that leaves something to be desired. His character Jon is a very successful ladies' man who is also heavily addicted to masturbating to internet porn numerous times daily. Many people will find the film to be quite funny and enjoyable. However, the graphic use of porn will not be to everybody's taste and may be off-putting to viewers particularly female viewers. I'm also wondering whether the extensive use of porn will lead to the MPAA giving it the kiss-of-death NC-17 rather than an R rating.
JGL's script is well-intentioned and he is trying to make the point that many people become so self-absorbed that they lose the ability to interact with others on a human level. Jon is deadened to real romance by his reliance on porn. His girlfriend has an overly romanticized view of relationships based on watching too many romantic movies. They are both so self-absorbed and selfish that they can't really build a real relationship. Still, it was often difficult to figure out what JGL's point was and in many ways became clearer listening to him during the Q&A after the film. JGL is attempting to raise profound issues about human relationships in the modern era, but he hasn't quite figured out how to do that as a writer and director. I expect that he is going to become as fine a director and writer as he already is an actor. He has a fine future ahead of him.
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