This is a weird one. I have no idea how I feel about this movie. I can’t really put on paper what it meant, what it signified or really even what it was about. It’s a sort of pseudo rom-com, reaching I suppose, for a sort of smug self awareness. Ultimately though it falls into the trappings of the films it’s hero derides.
Our hero is of course the titular Don Jon, writer, director and lead actor Joseph Gordon Levitt, buffed up and oranged into a Jersey Shore cast member. He works at a low level job, “the service industry” is all we’re ever told, but seemingly has a good amount of wealth as signified by his nice car and tidy apartment, and most pertinently is addicted to porn.
It’s inventively shot to a point, his contact with both said porn and the two women he has relations with are connected with this neat trick where the characters stare into the camera. It happens rather often and makes me wonder if the whole thing is a vanity exercise for Levitt, taking into account that he writes himself as a lothario character who beds a different women every weekend and has no trouble making the one woman he can’t instantly bed into his girlfriend within the space of two/three encounters.
The film is enigmatic of tone, somewhat satirical yet equally as cliched, it’s attitudes to women and relationships in general flip flop and never land in one firm position, the pacing is particularly off and it finishes before it feels like it has yet gone anywhere. It’s as hard to pin down as my feelings towards it are but I think with practice, Levitt could become a very interesting voice as a writer/director.
– Oliver Drew
- Review~ Odyssey of a New Jersey man as he looks for life’s meaning, Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Don Jon (marcwinger.com)
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt Nears Deal to Produce, Direct and Star in SANDMAN (collider.com)
- Don Jon (soliloqueue.wordpress.com)