Don Jon: A Great Directorial Debut!


So I just got back from the theater after having seen Don Jon. For those of you who have no idea what this movie is, it’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s personal project. This is a movie he wrote himself over the past year or so, and directed himself. He also plays the main character, Jon, an extremely sleazy young man, who has his priorities in life very plainly laid out. The movie also stars Scarlett Johansson as Jon’s girlfriend, Julianne Moore as a night school student (I don’t want to give away anything about her character), and Tony Danza as Jon’s dad.

Don Jon revolves and around Jon (Gordon-Levitt), someone who strives (and succeeds) to be the ‘ultimate man’ (getting all the girls, being super strong and in shape, etc.). When the movie starts, all Jon cares about is his body, his pad, his ride, his family, his church, his boys, his girls, his porn. Yes, porn. Jon’s love for porn is a major issue in the movie. The movie was originally called Don Jon’s Addiction, but the title was changed because the movie is not about an addiction, it’s about Jon. The movie follows Jon as he deals with the many issues of his selfish, sleazy lifestyle.

Now before i start to talk about how i liked this movie, I would like to include a disclaimer that my opinion may be slightly biased. I absolutely love Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Some of you may know him as ‘that guy from Inception and The Dark Knight Rises‘, or ‘that cute guy from 500 Days of Summer‘. However, over the past couple years, my love for JGL has continued to grow. I have been actively following his online collaboration site, hitRECord (, and have watched almost all of his films. When I heard that he would be starring in a movie he both wrote and directed, I was happy to say the least. So keep that in mind while reading this. However, I will do my utmost to give an unbiased review.

Now.. with that being said.. I really really liked Don Jon.

The main thing that comes to mind when thinking of why i liked the movie is the writing. Joseph Gordon-Levitt really did an incredible job with this. The story does a great job showing the various sides of how the media has been influencing relationships. On one side, you have Jon, who watches a whole lot of porn, and fantasizes about that (which in turn makes real life rather dull for him). On the other side of the spectrum, you have Barbara, who watches a whole lot of chick flicks, and fantasizes about that (which makes real life relationships dull for her). I find that to be a really interesting idea for a movie. The movie is insightful without being overly preachy, which is extremely commendable.

Another great part about the movie was the acting. What I loved so much about the acting in this movie is that both Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson played such different characters than what they usually play. Gordon-Levitt’s Jon was extremely sleazy and selfish (almost unbearably so at times), which is such a different role for him. Same goes for Johansson’s acting. Very impressive.

Another thing that was great about the movie was the editing. This is not usually something that I dwell upon, because it’s not usually something that impresses me enough to write about it. However, the editing in Don Jon was extremely impressive and really added to the flow of the movie.

There are a few faults that i could find in the movie if I were to look for them, but there were none that i found to be worth mentioning.

Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut was an excellent one. Don Jon is an excellent movie with an excellent story, and excellent performances by the actors in it. I would highly recommend this movie. However, keep in mind that this movie is not… clean. There is a lot of adult content in it, so watch it with caution. It is not ‘fun for the whole family’. So if you’re not worried about seeing this content, go see Don Jon!


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