There’s more to life than a happy ending; a review of Don Jon (2013)

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Finally, a modern film about one of the most tabooed topics in the history of ever: Porn.

Don Jon (2013) is the directorial debut of renowned actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The guy also wrote it). In the movie, JGL plays a guy who has a sick addiction to watching pornography and then he meets Scarlet Johanson.

So to rephrase that, he plays a normal guy and then meets Scarlet Johanson.

Just like any Hollywood film, the story starts off well for the two of them, until Johanson finds out that JGL is watching tons of porn behind her back, and then things start to unfold.

What took me by surprise when it comes to Don Jon is that it did not follow those classic Hollywood film “guidelines” that you often see these days. It was bold and used techniques in storytelling to deliver a great message to not just male viewers (Who I’m sure related to this guy on more than one level), but all viewers. To me, the film kind of acts as a parody to Hollywood films of the modern era. JGL even touches upon this briefly when he and Johanson go to the movies. He pokes fun at the fact that it’s always the same thing: Guy meets girl, they fall in love, break up, then they get back together. Don Jon at first feels like its going to be that traditional of a movie, but it branches out from that stereotype; and I can confidently say I may not have liked loved the movie as much as I did if it didn’t.

The editing style in this movie is superb. It actually helps carry the story forward. It was a little repetitive, but trust me when I say it totally works. I can’t really say much about it without giving away the story. Also the porn montages are perfect. The fact that there can be porn montages without too scandalous of images (Obviously you’re gonna see snap and crackle, but not so much pop) shows some skill on JGL’s part. Interesting enough, when the film premiered at festivals, it was originally rated NC-17. JGL got rid of the more graphic porn clips so that the film could have an R-rating. This is also smart on JGL’s part because he didn’t take anything away from the story to get that rating. He took away from something that was expendable.

Tony Danza plays JGL’s father and he KILLS it. He’s always yelling at JGL for upsetting his mother and then just doing… Dad things. There’s one scene where his conversation with JGL literally mirrored some of the conversations I’ve had with my own dad so I got a great laugh from that. Fun fact, Tony Danza graduated from Malverne High School in Malverne, NY, which is where one of my friends who I saw the movie with lives. So there’s that.

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To anyone who thought Scarlet Johanson wasn’t hot in Iron Man 2 (2010) or The Avengers (2012), this movie should change that opinion after like… the third or fourth scene of the movie. Also her accent in the movie is pretty sexy, not gonna lie.

Don Jon is a very realistic movie that guys and girls can both laugh at and feel for JGL’s character. It shows a very artistic side to JGL, and proves that he isn’t just some main stream actor anymore. The guy looks good in a director’s chair. I’m excited for him to write and direct more films to come.

Overall Rating: 9/10

Great story and great editing. The cast was perfect, and the message the movie sends is one that will certainly stick with audiences. I know it has stuck with me.

-Reed

IMAGES: http://www.chicagonow.com/couple-critics/files/2013/09/donjon600__span.jpg, http://www.impawards.com/2013/posters/don_jon_xlg.jpg

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