Cavemen most likely used their primitive imaginations and or a piece of charcoal to draw long flowing hair, round buttocks and large breasts on a rock wall. Men have been fantasizing about sex since the beginning, but never as feverishly as todays young male with his pornographic laden personal computer hovering above his taught lap. Don Jon takes a modern gawk at this age old issue and it’s worth a peep.
Being marketed on Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s reputation and rightfully so as his personal choices for the parts he has played over the years suggests the actor has taste. Here we get to see what the talented performer has to offer from the writer/director chair and he does not disappoint. Technically the movie looks great and the editing is worthy of an award, though it’s small budget won’t allow for one. The pacing is impressive, the rhythm is something seasoned auteurs should strive for while the poignant and comedic performances he gets from his actors is, to borrow from the poster above, stellar. Had no idea how much I missed Tony Danza in my life. Scarlett Johansson plays Jersey more convincingly than Snooki and a silent Brie Larson proves she can do comedy with her mouth shut. Not as surprising was his self directed performance. If you’ve seen anything he’s done you know he can act and if you’ve seen Mysterious Skin or Manic you know he’s not afraid to take chances. Like a background character in Goodfellas mixed with Marky Wahlberg, this title character could be considered a stretch for Gordon-Levitt on paper, but he puts any doubts to rest soon after the opening sequence. Julianne Moore as an older and horny night school student initially distracted from the story, but makes perfect sense before it’s done.
In the end Jon Don is a love story, a coming of age story as well as a masterfully constructed character study. Don’t be mistaken, very few punches are pulled here. Taking a first date or your mother would be a huge mistake unless you have a thing for uncomfortable situations. Other than a fairly heavy handed and seemingly obvious overall moral to the story culminating in a visual lecture at the climax, Jon Don is funny, honest and a refreshing. I might be wrong, but I’d hazard a guess that this is a film that even young males might admit is as good as the porn that is strewn throughout.
SHOULD WATCH, but not with your mom.
4 0f 5
Must Watch = 5 0f 5 (See it in the theater if possible/buy it or pay for rental.)
Should Watch = 4 of 5 (Worth a theater visit or sending away for)
Could Watch = 3 of 5 (If it’s on a pay channel or streaming for free)
Should Not Watch = 2 of 5 (Only if friends or family insist)
Do Not Watch = 1 of 5 (Don’t allow friends or family to make this mistake)