Don Jon (2013) Poster

(2013)

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10/10
Every human male should watch this movie
pcrawake18 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I give this movie a 10 because it has a message. It has a true purpose to it, which effects nearly every man on the planet.

Ladies, you can listen to this, but be reasonable. Guys, we all masturbate. Some of us do it more than others, most of us look at porn. Some of us only masturbate to porn and some of us have real hard fetishes.

This movie points to the problem, the process of porn turning our heads, making us believe in perfection and making us ultimately selfish as lovers.

You watch porn, you don't have to please a woman, you don't have to worry about anyone but yourself. It is all perfect. In the real world, in relationships, the other person matters just as much as you, but sometimes, even the real thing is not as good as the fantasy and the ease of it.

Don Jon is about that confusion of liking and appreciating porn more than real women, of becoming addicted to the idea of 'perfection' and the ultimate realization of the effect it has on all us men, making us irritated little boys, incapable of truly connecting with another person.

The message is not that porn is bad, only the way we think and use it is misleading to reality.

But, this is not the type of movie to watch with the family, the girl; it's funny, but not a comedy in a spoof and clown type of way. Watch this movie alone, think about yourself and how porn effects you. It will benefit you greatly.
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8/10
Joseph Gordon-Levitt delivers a Stinging Critique of Modern Relationships
JustCuriosity12 March 2013
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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10/10
A 10 for the message if nothing else...
MikeM198423 December 2013
(Somewhat Spoiler-y) I've dated an older woman, and in a lot of ways she tried to tell me the same things Esther tells Jon. In fact I remember a few distinctly similar interactions, so on that level the movie really spoke to me.

I imagine one could say the movie relies on some clichés, just enough to satisfy the romance/comedy genre, but it uses them in very unique ways to tell a story that at least seems a little more real. Sort of like 500 Days (of Summer) on steroids. No pun intended. In fact it may be even safe to say that Don Jon is the next chapter in the 500 Days saga, albeit with a different character. Perhaps one made cynical by the events of JGL last romance comedy outing.

Don Jon has graduated beyond puppy love, certainly, and onto full blown adult fun. But the movie is very biting, and sort of tears apart his self-serving agenda.

A lot of people seem to be caught up in the "porn" aspect of the movie, but honestly the "porn" is a metaphor, no more important to the gym-tan-laundry-sexualized commercials.

There are only two real female characters in the film: Esther, and Jon's quiet-except-for-one-powerful-line sister. The sister in fact almost makes the movie, as they use her small character to incredible effect.

The movie does a nice job of tricking the audience into rooting for Jon and Barbara, of course it's all a ploy. They even set up Esther as a sort of antagonist. She is enticing yet feels all wrong for Jon. Older, sort of run down, maybe a bit of a predator of weak men, the movie isn't very clear about her at the start. She runs completely counter to the stereotypes of women as set up by the film. She is far from perfect, but Moore makes her believably beautiful. I truly doubt many other actresses could've sold this role in the way she did. While her age played right into the character she probably was right for the character for mostly other reasons.

I don't think the movie is overall that outstanding. Many of the jokes fall flat, and some of it is tedious. In fact the vast majority of it could be considered filler, but the end is so incredible it does a great job of tying all these scenes together in a way that makes perfect sense and delivers a powerful message. Without completely ruining it the end embraces the typical cliché, but flips it on it's head. What results is a very mature version of what audiences have come to expect from these types of movies. The same, but also very different.

I would expect JGL will have continued success as a Director and actor.

The guy truly gets it.
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7/10
Solid, hard to define indie satire which will make some very uncomfortable - EXCELLENT first directorial effort!
eschetic-26 October 2013
Defining what kind of film this is had to be the hardest part of getting DON JON made, but ultimately it was worth it! It isn't really a "guy" film even though *technically* it tries to look at sex from a guy's perspective. It may actually best be called a "chick" flick, but one they would see alone rather than with a date. At the screening I saw, ALL the raucous laughter was coming from very obviously female voices - falling out of their chairs laughing over what they viewed as stereotypical male behavior - and even as the supposed "10" played by Scarlett Johansson reveals herself to be the kind of demanding (insert the word for a female canine here) who a very stupid - make that excessively immature - straight boy (like the one played with supreme élan by author/director Gordon-Levitt) would make a fool of himself over!

The film heavily satirizes stereotypical straight New Jersey Catholics - the easily offended of which should probably stay away along with anyone who expects a slick date night romantic comedy that doesn't require them to THINK - but it IS a beautifully structured and polished first directorial effort and very funny in its way. Man or woman though, it is not your usual DATE film to see with the opposite sex. The litmus scene for the film was probably when Johansson (Barbara) confronts Gordon-Levitt (Jon) over watching porn! Foolishly trying to evoke simple reason, he (accurately) tells her that "EVERY guy watches porn - and that anyone who says he doesn't is lying." The theatre got absolutely quiet there for a moment in any section where dates were sitting, as each side wondered what the other was thinking. What YOU may think in that scene will determine a lot about how you view and react to the film. You may enjoy it regardless of what you think of that (for the film) core issue, but you sure won't want to see it with anyone who you can't comfortably talk about it with.

The "home" scenes with Jon's family and Barbara's are probably excess baggage, but they give the central characters broad context (the broadest performance in a very stylized film is probably Tony Danza's performance as Jon's father) - and set up the one totally human moment in the film when Jon's silent sister defines what a good sibling should be when she finally has a line! Ultimately, there is one unexpected, rational woman (Julianne Moore giving a remarkable imitation of Susan Sarandon!) who Jon meets in the night class Barbara insists he take who not only "gets" him but broadens his horizons for the kind of growth any central character in a good film must have.

Don't expect a pat happy ending or a cheap thought-free throw away comedy (and DON'T make it first date material with someone you don't know yet!), and the open minded will have a wonderful time. My take-away image is really of a few years ago at the first Broadway preview of a Tony winning musical called AVENUE Q. Just before it started, a student of mine at the university where I teach came over to introduce his mother who was seeing the show too, sitting in front of each other all the way over at the side. Midway through the show there was a very funny, very outrageous musical number called "You Can Be As Loud As You Want" (When You're making Love). I glanced over to see how my student and his mother were taking it and, as you can imagine, my student, sitting in front of his mother, was sinking onto the floor with embarrassment. What he *couldn't see* was his mother rocking with laughter both at the insouciance of the number and her son's embarrassment! I think my mother (who, as far as I know, probably doesn't approve of pornography) or my minister would be howling with laughter at DON JON too - but they probably wouldn't want anyone they knew to see them doing so.

Recommended - but with noted reservations.
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Solid directorial debut by the most likable American actor of his generation, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Benedict_Cumberbatch28 August 2013
"Don Jon" (formerly known as "Don Jon's Addiction") is the feature directorial debut of the talented and ridiculously charismatic Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He also wrote the script and plays the title character, a young man from New Jersey who's developed: a) an unhealthy addiction to porn; and b) such unrealistic expectations about sex and love (and sex) that not even a "10" like Barbara (a hilarious Scarlett Johansson, in what is easily her best work since "Vicky Cristina Barcelona") can satisfy him in real life.

"Don Jon" reminded me of a great, half-forgotten French film: Bertrand Blier's "Too Beautiful for You" (1989). In that film, a wealthy car dealer (Gerard Depardieu) who has everything – including a beautiful wife (Carole Bouquet) – falls for his plain, slightly overweight secretary (Josiane Balasko). "Don Jon" is also like Blier's film in the sense that Jon finds his "10," yet he's still unsatisfied. Both films are very different in tone, aesthetics, and geography, but they delicately touch in the realm of our own emotional misconceptions and immaturity. We live in a world where our ever-growing concern about self-image, and the belief that we must abide by unattainable beauty standards in order to find a decent match, have grown so out-of-hand that all we ever do is find obstacles to getting to know anyone who doesn't meet our own ridiculous requirements. We are always waiting for the illusory perfection. Levitt sharply illustrates this issue by way of porn addiction; it might be crude for some, but he manages not to fall into excessive vulgarity or toilet humor.

Also featuring the always wonderful Julianne Moore in an important role, plus Glenne Headly (I've missed her on the big screen), Tony Danza, and Brie Larson as Jon's parents and sister, respectively; "Don Jon" is worth the visit. Here's hoping for more JGL directorial efforts!
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7/10
Sex, love and pornography.
starsandpopcorn5 October 2013
As if Joseph Gordon-Levitt couldn't get any better. The former child star has turned into quite the up-and-coming young actor as he's worked to re-brand himself as something more than that kid from 3rd Rock From the Sun. Over the years, he's starred in such films as Brick, The Dark Knight Rises and Looper, and has proved to be the type of actor whom everyone loves - and who actually deserves that love. However, his most impressive performance to date might just be the one he gave behind the camera with Don Jon.

The film marks Levitt's first time writing and directing a feature- length film, and it makes one hell of an impression, especially because he tackles the lead role as well. Don Jon is one of those movies that has plenty of laughs and a few heartfelt moments, and it's certainly entertaining. But it also touches on a few interesting social issues. I think I'll just go ahead and say it, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives away a few trade secrets, much to the horror of men everywhere: Don Jon touches on that dreadfully embarrassing fact that every guy is terrified will come out. What secret is that? Well, it's probably best to put it in the words of the protagonist, Jon, himself: "Every guy looks at porn, every day."

Well, that last part might be a bit of an exaggeration, but Don Jon does bring up the point that pornography has become so readily available through the internet and even television that it's just simply within arm's reach at every single second of every single day, and every guy now and then reaches out to take a handful. However, society still treats it as something shameful and embarrassing, rather than a fact of life.

Don Jon doesn't treat the use of pornography as something that should destroy relationships or cause significant others to fly off the handle in fits of jealousy. In fact, the movie seems to indicate, it's a habit that's probably pretty healthy. That isn't to say that Jon has a healthy habit, as he's reduced to having to look at pornography constantly throughout the day, even after sex, but you know, that's an extreme example.

Then again, maybe it isn't. Maybe the film offers a bit of a warning about how a little pornography is perfectly normal, but a lot can create a monster. Too much porn can make it so that it's nearly impossible to connect with someone else on a meaningful level. After all, watching too much sex can create expectations that are as unrealistic as the ones the romantic comedies create.

What really impressed me about Don Jon, though, are the performances that Levitt pulls out of his co-stars. I've honestly never seen Scarlett Johansson give a better performance than she did as Jon's trashy New Jersey girlfriend, Barbra. She's absolutely despicable as she slowly begin to reveal her true intentions and tries to paint Jon as the bad guy when she discovers his addiction. On top of that, Tony Danza gives a side-splitting performance as Jon's hot-headed father who gets into dick-measuring contest with his son every Sunday night (figurative, people, come on).

However, the most impressive of them all is Levitt himself, who has repeatedly proved that he is one hell of an actor and one who has earned my trust as a moviegoer. The role is something so far from what I would have ever pictured him portraying, but he pulls it off beautifully as he plays the scumbag good-guy stereotype.

Now for the hard part. I really enjoyed Don Jon. It strikes as a solid balance between art and entertainment, it's filled with lots of laughs and it touches on a sensitive topic in a way that doesn't seem preachy. The ending is a little weak, but everything up until that is golden. However, I'm not sure if it's what one would call a date movie, since it will probably lead to inquisitive stares during a quiet car ride home afterward. And honestly, that's really too bad. For the people that are willing to embrace the fact that everyone looks at porn, this movie is well worth the price of admission. However, I'm not sure if most of its value comes from the first viewing. It's no Shame, but there's really no shame in that.
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7/10
Great directorial debut from JGL
donokun8 March 2013
I saw this at a pre-screening for SXSW and I was really impressed. Joseph Gordon-Levitt really holds his own as a writer/director, and it was nice to see him in a role I hadn't really considered him "right" for. Scarlett Johansen and Julianne Moore are both wonderful as well. Basically, you should see this if you get the chance. It's funny, charming, different, and tells a great story that ends up going in a direction I hadn't anticipated.

This movie basically tells the story of a young guido (Gordon-Levitt) who has a porn addiction and ends up in a relationship with Scarlett Johansen's character. One thing leads to another, blah blah blah.... you'll see when you see it. I don't want to give too much away.

Anyway, yeah! Really good movie, great directorial debut, and a well told story. I'd recommend this film.
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8/10
Anti-romantic Comedy
themissingpatient29 December 2013
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Jon, a confident, promiscuous, foul-mouthed, obsessive-compulsive, Catholic New Jersey boy. Though he is able to sleep with any woman he likes, which is how his friend's gave him the name Don Jon, he is unable to find the same level of satisfaction he attains through his addiction to online pornography. After meeting Barbara, played by Scarlett Johansson, Jon falls in-love and struggles to choose between her and his addiction.

Where a typical Hollywood romance would end, Don Jon just gets started. This is not a romantic comedy, this is a character-study within an anti-romantic comedy with great performances by an excellent cast in perfectly written roles. Tony Danza and Glenne Headly, as Jon's parents, provide some of the film's biggest laughs while Julianne Moore's character gives the story genuine heart. Joseph Gordon-Levitt proves to be just as talented behind-the-camera as he is in-front of it.

Don Jon does more in one small, 90-minute film than most 2 hour big films have ever accomplished. There is much to learn about relationships in this little tale yet it's never preachy and it keeps the laughs coming. This isn't the kind of film couples will feel comfortable or even want to see but it's the film they need to see. It's sincere and honest truth, no fluff.
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One of the Most Confident Films You'll Ever See
Michael_Elliott9 October 2013
Don Jon (2013)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt wrote, director and stars as Jon, a twenty-something man who loves women but what he loves even more is watching porn. He meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) who demands that he gives it up for her. DON JON isn't the greatest film ever made but I will say that I don't recall ever watching a movie that was so confident. Confidence is something most people lack and even most brass movies lack it but DON JON certainly isn't afraid to say what it wants to and stick by it. Having a romantic comedy that says watching porn is better than being with women and then tells you why that's the case is something incredibly rare. What's even rarer is that this type of subject is usually just played for cheap laughs but here there's a complete story wrapped around it that asks a lot of questions, gives a lot of answers and as I said, is 100% confident about itself. The confidence just really jumps off the screen unlike any movie I've ever seen and that's where the original aspect of this film comes. There have been countless movies that downplay women but this one here just does so in such a fresh and original way that you can't help but enjoy it. It also is very smart about guys, their mentality on sex and various other issues. Gordon-Levitt does a wonderful job all around but especially in the acting department. As the writer he certainly knows this character very well but it still takes a very strong performance to get that to the screen and the actor does a fabulous job. Johansson also turns in her greatest work outside of a Woody Allen picture and Tony Danza is very memorable in his supporting bit as is Glenne Headly and Julianne Moore. The screenplay is certainly dirty and covers a lot of topics but the film never crosses the offensive line. The main reason it doesn't cross the line is that it remains smart no matter what it's saying and how dirty it's being said. DON JON is certainly a refreshing film that should get one excited thinking that Gordon-Levitt could turn into someone to keep your eye on not just as an actor but as a writer and director.
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8/10
A powerful insight into the modern day mans psyche towards women and relationships
joshh200711 November 2013
The first half hour of this film makes you feel quite uncomfortable, I saw a pre-screening with my girlfriend and It made me feel a little tense as I wasn't able to gauge how she was perceiving what she was watching.

There are a lot of sexually orientated scenes, cut scenes from porn movies, scenes of our protagonist Jon getting off with a hell of a lot of women. Scarlett Johansson's arrival doesn't slow any of this down, despite her being cast in the archetypical female role. That being the girl Jon is going to give up his wicked ways for. I won't spoil how this ultimately pans out. Around this point the humour kicks in and I must say there are quite a few laugh out loud scenes. Jon's relationship with his family in particular and just his strange character in general provide a good comedic vibe.

This film will not be for everybody. Those faint hearted souls who wont be able to stand anything more offensive than the solitary use of the F word, well you guys should certainly pass this by. Overall the F word is used in excess of 120 times in this picture for starters. For me, as the film plays out the sexual cut scenes begin to have more substance. They start to mean more than just the showing of perverse acts, I believe what JGL was trying to show was an insight into how modern day men perceive women and relationships. How expectations are raised by pornography and advertising to create an image that will never be fulfilled in normal life.

In some ways the film ends a bit of a damp squib, despite being an enjoyable ride there is somehow a lack of conviction in the ending. Our 'hero' does see the error of his ways, but it could have been done more convincingly in my opinion. All in all though this is a solid directorial debut from JGL, there seems to be a real pace about the film from beginning to end. The way the dialogue is delivered and the temperament of the characters keeps things running steady and keeps you hooked.

Definite recommendation from me.
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8/10
Excellent movie with a very realistic view of todays society
marcel-schwarz-877-39159429 December 2013
Usually when watching movies, even new ones, you can feel that even though they send an interesting message and make you think, often their context is already outdated.

Not so Don Jon, the problems here seem more actual than ever in our generation. Media and commercials are giving people ideas how their life should be and in consequence how their partner should be.

Of course, this differs according to gender just like this movie shows - girls, growing up with Disney movies and romantic comedies, are taught that they need to find the perfect boy with a good salary, the wish for a family, and of course so romantic that he basically can fulfill her every wish without her even telling. Boys, on the other hand, are conditioned by the omnipresence of pornography, starting with naked women in commercials and music videos up to internet porn that creates exact expectations on how their girlfriends should look like and how they need to perform for them in order to get pleasure.

Needless to say, this "one-sidedness" on both sides creates a contrast that makes many relationships struggle just like we can see it in this movie - Barbara, the young, gorgeous woman played by Scarlett Johansson, sets all her demands on her boyfriend clear on the beginning, while Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who could have every girl he wanted does not even get the satisfaction he needs from this "perfect girl" alone.

All in all, this movie is a very good psychological analysis of today's society. Although it might contain content some people might view as offensive and you shouldn't probably be watching it with your family or small children, it gives a lot to think about.
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6/10
'Don Jon' Puts Jersey Spin on Romantic Comedies
bill_the_butcher71 January 2014
New Jersey guy Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) only cares about a few things in his life: his family, friends, church, and porn. After many one-night-stands, he finally decides to settle down with a "dime" named Barbara (Scarlett Johansson). But not even this relationship can compare to the happiness Jon has when alone with his pornography. When he realizes his porn may be too influential on him, he begins to change his lifestyle and beliefs with help from an older woman (Julianne Moore).

Stories of sex addiction aren't new, having been dealt with most recently in 2011's Shame, but Don Jon feels different. Jon loves porn; he says it many times in voice-over and is consistently shown getting up in the middle of the night to go watch porn after just having sex in real life. He doesn't see it as an addiction, saying "It's porn. It's not heroin," as his excuse. To show the media influence on sex, the film opens by crosscutting many sexualized commercials, film scenes, and television clips over the credits, while actual pornography clips are spliced throughout. But unlike Shame, which treats this topic in an intense, dramatic way, Jon keeps it light, funny, and tries to show how easy it is for someone to unknowingly fall into this addiction in today's sex- obsessed culture.

The film also tackles an exploration of today's relationships. Barbara's own "porn" is romantic Hollywood films that Jon hates. These films have influenced Barbara's ideas on dating (she yells at him to stop cleaning his apartment because it's not sexy) and enforced her beliefs that typical gender roles are the only means to a happy relationship. This film speaks truths about ideas young people may have about dating in today's culture, and while spinning these topics in a mostly comedic light, it is still interesting to consider how much media pertains to our understanding of the world.

Don Jon succeeds in most areas, and one large part is due to its cast. Tony Danza is really funny as Jon's father and Scarlett Johansson (and her hilarious Jersey accent) steals every scene she in. The film offers up a good amount of laughs, and the purposeful repetitive narrative works in showing Jon's changing lifestyle. Most of the film is so upbeat and fast that the last twenty minutes may feel like its dragging, but it can be considered necessary due to Jon's slowed-down new lifestyle.

The fact that this is the first film by writer-director Gordon-Levitt is extremely impressive. Don Jon flies at a mostly fast pace, has a fun cast, and gives a great commentary on sex, relationships, and addiction.
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10/10
Don Jon
cultfilmfan7 October 2013
Don Jon, was a film that I had to be a little patient with. What first started as a vulgar, raucous and teen oriented film having little more than jokes involving perverseness and sexual humour and was something that I figured I had wasted my money on, turned out to completely surprise me and ended up as one of my favourite films of this year. Yes, the film does have a lot of sexual humour and content in it, but it has some reason to, seeing as the film is dealing with addiction to pornography. And what may have seemed immature and like teenage humour for the first little bit of the film, soon went away and it became one of the most insightful and intelligent films of the year. I have heard the comparisons to this film from 2011's Steve McQueen directed film, Shame which is also about sexual addiction. Unfortunately, I have not seen Shame yet. I missed it at theatres and every time I go to the library to rent it, it is out, so for obvious reasons I can not compare the two of them. Don Jon, did have a lot to say both about young men and women, sex and relationships. It's the kind of film you would almost want younger teens to see in order to learn something and perhaps plan their own lives and future relationships a little more differently. Here the internet pornography sites serve as a form of escape for this main character and while he likes being around women, he can not connect with them in the same way as he feels he can with things he sees on the computer. This further complicates things for himself because what we see on the internet and in magazines often times are things that are made to look perfect, beautiful and however you want to put it, but other than just looking at it, there is no real connection, or relationship to it. It is hollow and empty and void of any emotional connection or feelings to another person. Perhaps that is why this character can not relate to real women. Everything up to now has been completely empty and void of any feeling, or connection and in his mind if he doesn't have to attach himself in any way to a real woman, he wonders what the point of that is. Throughout the course of the film, our lead character, Jon, meets two very different women, who will both change his outlook and outcome of his way of handling relationships and finding truer meaning to both himself and others as well. The film while crude and a little graphic at times, is far more into psychological and character study than one may think and it is one of the most insightful and accurate looks at young, or basically any type of relationships that I have seen in a long time. Jon, is with one woman who seems to be his dream woman, but right from the start we do not really like her, or at least I didn't. She herself had an unrealistic view of relationships that was more about status symbols and image than about real love for one another as well. The other woman we meet knows more about relationships and more about Jon himself than he may want to admit, or care for her to know, but there is a whole different type of connection and intimacy level there. The film shows that so often young men treat women as sexual objects and fantasies and actually how we can be so demeaning and almost sexist towards them. At the same time, this selfish attitude hurts other people and ourselves because we can not truly ever find anything that is real if we continue on this way because everything has to be perfect, or just like it is on movies, magazines, or the internet and it gives us a false distortion of reality, relationships and other people. The film is the first film written and directed by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt whose acting has impressed me over the years, especially in films like Gregg Araki's Mysterious Skin. Now he shows that he can not only act, but write and direct as well. The film has moments of laugh out loud humour, but it also has a tender and emotional side to it as well. It examines these people and what is really behind them and the hurts, or the things they have been through and it is honest both about men, women and relationships in general. As the film ended, I could totally understand the way the film ended and why Levitt, decided to do it in that way. It felt realistic for his character, but at the same time also connected to beauty and happiness. I enjoyed the screenplay and direction immensely as well as the performances were all quite good as well. I liked the quick jump cut editing and the film's use of music in certain scenes, I felt worked really well also. I know some viewers will be turned off by the material and subject matter, but it really is a film worth seeing if you are in a relationship, or even if you are not and this is a film that definitely has something to say. I look forward to future writing and directing projects for Levitt, and as it stands Don Jon, is one of 2013's best and maybe most misunderstood films as well.
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8/10
Detached
kosmasp12 August 2013
Joseph Gordon Levitt proves he can act and direct at the same time. Bringing Tony Danza back (in a different more extreme Dad role than most know him from) was a great move too. But the movie is all about JGL performance. In front and behind the camera, choosing how to cut a movie together that some might call pornography (though it isn't, it's a movie about addiction).

Sex addiction is something that people take very lightly, making fun of it most of the time. But it can be more serious than that. And Don Jon proves that in a very comical way. Where Michael Fassbender went on and played it like a drama (equally good at least in "Shame"), this movie is lighter in tone most of the time. Still having drama to sit through, but the comic moments, make this an easier film to watch. If you don't mind the sexual theme it has, you will get a powerful movie about the Downfalls of addiction
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8/10
There are some very funny scenes in this one but it has a lot of heart and that is the reason to watch.
cosmo_tiger28 December 2013
"It's not that I can't stop I just figure why should I...it's not like I'm cheating on her." Jon (Gordon-Levitt) has a fun group of friends and is passionate about a few things. One of which is porn. Because of this obsession he is unable to have a healthy relationship with anyone. When he meets Barbara (Johansson) he thinks he found the perfect girl. Little by little he begins to wonder if he will ever feel about a woman the way he feels about his porn. First off I will have to say that this is not for everyone. If you offend easy then avoid this. Also the first five minutes are the raunchiest in terms of dialog so if you can make it past that you should be OK. As far as the movie goes I did enjoy it but the thing about this movie is the abundance of sex and porn will distract from the true meaning of the movie. The movie isn't necessarily about addiction but more about watching a man trying to connect with a human in a way he never has before. There are some very funny scenes in this one but it does have a lot of heart and that is the reason to watch. Acting is great but all of this won't be given a fair chance because of the in your face porn aspect. That is a shame. Overall, a very well done and good movie that won't be given a chance by many people because of the subject. I give it a B+.
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10/10
Don Jon Is A Profoundly Therapeutic Film!
interestingfunstuff6 October 2013
Anyone who has sexual, intimacy or porn addiction problems should watch this film. It will help you to heal! Even if you have none of these issues, bring your lover to this film. I guarantee you, if you're even a somewhat sensitive person, you will make passionate love to each other after watching Don Jon! It's that good!

If you're a psychotherapist or if you lead a support group for intimacy or sex addiction problems, I highly recommend watching this film! It will benefit both you and your clients!

While this film is geared to heterosexuals it will benefit anyone regardless of your sexual preference!

If you have never experienced true emotional intimacy with another human being, or a truly loving sexual relationship, Don Jon will give you some idea what true emotional intimacy or a loving,sexual relationship is all about!

This movies is so profound and it's ramifications are so deep I'm starting to get emotional myself as I write this review!
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8/10
Smarter than you think...
luisger-427-8308 January 2014
To the naked eye, this is a shallow appearance by bombshell Scarlett Johansson in a male-ego-driven flick. Beware: for anyone who's been touched by the porn phenomenon, this movie HITS THE NAIL ON THE HEAD. What a smart way to show your average Joe, the difference between a real woman and an idealized woman. Between meaningless sex and God-given sex. Between anguish and love. I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a very credible Jersey womanizer and an even more credible lost soul. Until...

So, again, your average viewer might leave the theater empty. But the keen observer (or the porn-affected) will leave with a WIDE SMILE.

Kudos from Bogotá!!! Keep 'em coming Joseph...
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8/10
A few tweaks from greatness!
sniperx36022 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I really liked Don Jon. I love every second on this screen, but its what is not on screen that cap its' potential. This movie had potential to be wonderful and charming while still vulgar and real much like Silver Linings Playbook, but better. The two of these films line up very closely, but Silver Linings takes much more time on the characters ultimately leading to a better film.

Let me first say how much I enjoyed the premise of this movie. The premise is only porn. That's it. It moves from many different sub-stories within that that form one comprehensive story. This premise is absolutely genius. Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a fantastic job here as he dives deeper into each layer and giving new perspectives every few scenes. The plot of this is very simple, yet complex, much like the ideology of porn. There is something about it that is simple and easy (to access or rid), but there is always something bringing us back, and we don't know what that is.

Here is where the movie falls short though. Standing at 90 minutes, Don Jon lacks depth. We see many main characters and we are only scratching the surface with them. Julianne Moore and Scarlet Johansson's characters both are very interesting, yet we only see them for face value. We see a broken Julianne Moore through her interactions, but never dive fully into her brokenness. We see a sheltered Scarlet who upon confrontation refuses to accept reality and goes about her way. Primarily though, we see Jon. We go through all these changes in concrete and perspective with him. Jon is a very relateable and venerable character. His perspective is the only true depth we get. We go through his trials every step of the way and every step brings a new perspective we did not see before whether it be something unnoticed through Scarlet, Julianne, the Church, or even his workout routine.

When it is time for the movie to end, JGL takes 5 minutes to wrap everything up. The way this is great because it shows the true unfinishedness of life and choices, but the problem is we don't get enough of the other characters for the ending to make a real impact. If these characters were explored throughout the movie for total of 30 minutes extra, the impact would be phenomenal. I love the way the film ends, but it seems rushed. With an extra 10 minutes to see Jon pour himself into these other characters, I would have been much more satisfied.

Ultimately, Don Jon is great, but with an extra 40 minutes of completing characters, this could have been exemplary. Silver Linings Playbook spend an hour more and had about the same amount of story. It was that extra filler that really made the movie great, but it was missing relatability. Silver Linings was wonderful, but I felt a real connection with the character of Jon. I gave Silver Linings a 9/10 and I give Don Jon an 8/10, but with more character, this could have easily been a 10/10.
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8/10
A fantastic first-step for director Joseph Gordon-Levitt
aglowery19 October 2013
Sing-a-long – "It's such a – good vibration… It's such a – sweeeet sensation." Marky-Mark's Good Vibration serves as a very apt soundtrack to Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut Don Jon, as the dramedy immerses itself within the art of adult entertainment… If you're not quite with me, never mind.

Levitt pops his director cherry and for his first time behind the camera, he delivers a bravely honest depiction of male sexuality, as his character Jon takes a bazooka to the erotic taboo: porn. Nicknamed Don Jon by his meathead mates for his ability to woo the women, our New Jersey lothario is a porn-junkie who prefers "beating it" to the real thing. "Unlike porn, real pussy can kill you", says the Don, and with justification like that, who can argue?

Although it favours a cartoonish superficiality over the refinement and sophistication of Shame, McQueen's movie of similar narrative sort, it totally works… as entertainment anyway.

Just when the confession-goer believes that no woman can fulfil his carnal desires in the same way that porn can, enter Barbara Sugarman, a Scarlett Johansson gone ghetto as she chumps of chewing-gum and sports the slick street vibe. On a scale of one-to-ten, our blonde bombshell scores a "dime" and Don Jon is convinced she is the answer to his prayers. Finally, our masturbation-addict begins a serious relationship with something other than his computer.

Joseph Gordon Levitt takes a confident first step on the road to what looks to be an equally illustrious career behind the camera. Will it win an Oscar? Probably not – but as Jon remarks, "They give awards for porn too." Go on, feel the vibration.

www.moviematrix.co.uk
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9/10
There's a lot to like about Joseph Gordon-Levitt's feature debut as Writer/Director and as starring actor.
SundSideUp26 September 2013
(This review is based on an advanced screening at the Revere Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts.)

Let's get this out of the way right from the start: if you will be offended by a movie with lots of F-bombs and/or one that's about a guy from Jersey who's addicted to porn—or more specifically, masturbating to porn —then Don Jon isn't for you. That said, there's a lot to like about Joseph Gordon-Levitt's feature debut as Writer/Director and as starring actor.

Don Jon doesn't waste any time letting us know what it's about. There's nothing subtle in an opening that shows Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character, Jon Martello, masturbating to porn. His matter-of-fact voice-over explains precisely what he likes about getting off to porn and why he prefers the women on the screen to actual warm-bodied women in his bed. His friends call him 'Don', though, because he manages to score 'dimes'—meaning a '10'—whenever they go out.

Enter Scarlett Johansson (for whom Gordon-Levitt wrote the role) as Barbara, a 10 in any movie, but especially in this one. It's a jolt initially to hear her accent—which some argue sounds more like one from Staten Island—but if you're not from New Jersey, you won't have a problem with it. Barbara is the game changer for Jon, perfect in every way, except for one minor problem: she's not happy about the porn.

Julianne Moore and Tony Danza round out a stellar cast that includes cameos from Channing Tatum, Anne Hathaway, and Cuba Gooding, Jr. Danza plays Jon's dad in a performance reminiscent of (and just as strong as) Robert De Niro's fatherly role in Silver Linings Playbook. Moore plays a middle-aged student in a night class with Jon. She provides an older woman foil for Jon's girlfriend/porn issues—someone other than his buddies and family to heckle and care for him. Moore gives a layered performance, ably demonstrating the disappearing effect of age when hanging out with students half her age, gracefully revealing that there is much more under the tender shell of her character Esther than Jon can possibly imagine. donjon1 Gordon-Levitt's screenplay is solid and well structured, built around themes like the fact that Jon Martello is a devout Catholic. With welcome regularity, we see Jon back on the pew with his family, followed by a weekly rendezvous in the confessional in which he itemizes his sexual transgressions to the priest on the other side—the number of times he had sex out of wedlock, how many times he masturbated to porn, etc. The next scene invariably shows him in the gym working out to the prescribed number of Hail Marys and Our Fathers (and we get to peek at just how buff Gordon-Levitt has been keeping himself). The laughs get louder every time the screenplay whips around to this place keeper, and we fall into pace with Jon and his routine as we get to know him.

Gordon-Levitt takes what should be a ridiculous premise for a movie and through strong writing and directing outputs a sincere plot. Though full of the American Pie-style humor requisite for a story about masturbation, Don Jon more importantly takes its characters (and us) somewhere—and it's not where you think. In the wasteland of cookie- cutter movie plots, Don Jon's story is a breath of fresh air—one that makes us laugh, makes us think, makes us cringe, and makes us come out wanting more from Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
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1/10
Bad plot+Bad accents+Bad acting=we walked out.
angie-petersen-12320 October 2013
I don't know anyone besides 13 year old boys that would give this movie anything over one star. It was horrible. Basically, it was clips of porn intertwined with a very basic, simple story of a guy and his porn addiction. The characters have "jersey" accents that kind of hop in and out of their lingo and jargon making it obvious that they are trying too hard. Don't get me wrong, I like all of the actress/actors in this film. I'm blaming this one on the writing. The plot could be summed up in one sentence or about 5 minutes. I think that's why so many porn clips were added in-to make it longer and seem cutting-edge. The only thing cutting edge about this film is how much porn was shown and it was only rated R. We were expecting to see a film that pushed boundaries but was interesting...not so much. Lame.
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9/10
Unexpectedly one of the best I've seen!
maggie_cm069 November 2013
This movie is worth every second of your time to watch it. Joseph Gordon- Levitt did an amazing job and created a piece of art. Visually rich and interesting, great cast and a truly beautiful story, I believe it to be timeless. It's a movie I intend to review in a few years because I think that our life's perspectives change the way we look into it, and I'm sure that I'll discover something new about it in a few years and a little more life experience. Scarlett Johansson was amazing and breathtaking. Julianne Moore played a very interesting role in this movie and I believe she managed to capture the essence of her character. She makes you fall in love right away. Julianne and Joseph had such a great screen chemistry, it was amazing. The ending gave me the best feeling I could hope for! With unexpected twists, the story takes you smoothly to the real world, for the best part of it, and the best you can have of human relations. Also it makes you see and love the human being as a whole, with its cracks and flaws, its weaknesses and its greatness. I tried to express myself the best I could but I'm not an English native speaker and on top of that this movie has so much to talk about and it's so rich!!
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9/10
Unafraid and believable
nathanlemin23 October 2013
Despite one of the most awkward movie openings I've ever been witness to, Jo Levitt's Don Jon hits. It hits hard. With nothing held back, Levitt makes his directorial debut a deeper than realized and very realistic dramatic comedy. The romance is raw and current, not laced with bullshit anecdotes of what love is, and the comedy is natural and situational. Jon Martello, the lead character (also played by Levitt) is a conceded, underemployed womanizer. We watch as he fumbles to decipher relationships amidst the distraction of deceptive devices such as pornography and Romantic Comedy films. The writing (also done by Levitt) very skillfully crafts a cast of authentic characters that aren't exactly bright, or even likable. The film is composed of a few scenes that repeat at different stages of Jon's life during the time of his relationship with Barbara (played by Scarlett Johansson). The scenes are representative of the things he "really cares about in life" and how those things change as he wises up on relationships. If a Jersey bartender who works out more than works and is—let's be honest—kind of a douchebag can figure out a little bit about how to love it gives the rest of us some hope. Cheers JGL.
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1/10
Dull and Boring
kotsysdesigns6 October 2013
Let me preface by saying that I am in no way turned off by vulgarity in any form. The fact that this film was filled with curse words and pornographic clips did not affect me in any way. This movie was simply brutal and not funny.

I lasted through 45 minutes of it until I had enough and left the movie theater. Not once during this film did I even chuckle. The humor in this movie boils down to: recycled "bro" jokes, rehashed "guido"/"Jersey Shore" humor, and audio/visual vulgarity.

Had this movie been the least bit funny, I would have lasted throughout the whole thing. This movie is not "brilliant", and completely fails to be funny in any way, shape, or form. I appreciate films for being done well from technical aspects (It was part of my major at college), but this movie was simply not funny and was entirely too repetitive.

If you want to stare at Scarlet Johansson or see boobs, just stay at home and look at porn by yourself. I wish I could get my money & my Saturday night back.
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1/10
Total waste of time
quihgon28 September 2013
I am not usually a movie critic, I am the person who enjoys almost any film and manages to find the good in whatever im watching and can usually enjoy movies others do not. In regards to this movie I did not and feel it was a total waste of time.

Summary, ( Possible Spoiler Alert )

The entire movie was about an individual who was a supposed ladies man and would make it his mission to go home with a different women every week in order to have a one night stand. One night stand after one night stand the main character is never satisfied so of course turns to porn in order to get himself off. Eventually he gets into a destructive relationship while pursuing sex with someone and finds he is still unsatisfied and looks for the purity that he finds from porn in a sexual partner. He gradually explores himself as well as some interesting people along the way and changes for the better.

The End

"Critique"

I thought the movie was crap, I wanted to walk out of the theatre and thats never happened before. First off the display of porn is so over exaggerated to be borderline ridiculous. The accents in the movie were nerve grating and made my ears bleed and were so terribly done people in New jersey should be offended. The Main actor in the movie was alright and Tony was epic in his performance but every other person portrayed in the movie were rank amateurs and it was really hard to believe anything.

So in total I think this sums it up best, Stupidest movie I've ever seen to the point where it was the only movie I ever wanted to walk out of the theatre. Incredibly ridiculous waste of money not even worth seeing on an airplane or a late night HBO showing while lying sick in a hospital bed with nothing to do.
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