Joseph Gordon-Levitt, after directing a series of independent short films over the past few years, including Sparks, Morgan M. Morgansen’s Date with Destiny, Morgan and Destiny’s Eleventeenth Date: The Zeppelin Zoo, They Can’t Turn the Lights Off Now: Episode #2 and Strawberry Bootlaces, has now crafted his first feature film as writer-director. The quirky and sexy romance Don Jon centers on Gordon-Levitt’s title character Jon Martello, Jr., a porn addicted young man who has a laundry list of items he cares about, including: his body, his pad, his “girls,” and, of course, his porn. Jon lives with his own curious moral center, attending church regularly with his parents, hilariously played by Tony Danza and Glenne Headly, but also regularly feeding his online porn habit. He prefers to “satisfy” himself even though he has no lack of real sexual activity.
However, things begin change when Jon meets blonde bombshell Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson). The smart Barbara tries to get Jon to change his life, leading to her new boyfriend to change the way he “handles” himself, at least for a short time. Gordon-Levitt plays his role shrewdly, giving in to Barbara’s demands, but feeling a disconnect with his now ordinary day to day existence. Soon Barbara finds out about his porn addiction and demands that it come to a complete stop.
Don Jon takes a refreshing turn when Jon meets Esther (Julianne Moore), an older woman who accepts Jon’s dysfunctions. Now Jon has a chance to simply be himself, like he’s with his best buddies Bobby and Danny (played by Rob Brown and Jeremy Luke), and suddenly Barbara’s stratagems seem even less tolerable. Plus Gordon-Levitt’s skillful writing means Don Jon doesn’t have a typical happy ending.
While the director’s limitations are evident, Don Jon is a sweet and subtle freshman feature from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, filled with nicely comic performances. Gordon-Levitt, Moore and Johansson are remarkable in their own ways, creating believable, down to earth characters, each with their own grace.
It’s also worth mentioning the audio and image quality on the Blu-ray disc was well above average. Overall, the Don Jon home video release deserves a look, especially if you’re fans of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson.
- Making Of Don Jon
- Don Jon’s Origin
- Joe’s Hats
- Themes & Variations
- HitRECord Short: My Favorite Things Remix: Love of Objects
- HitRECord Short: Vinegar
- Theatrical Trailer and Previews
- Blu-ray Release Date: December 31, 2013
- Screen Format: Widescreen 2.40:1
- Audio: English 5.1 DTS HD-MA
- Subtitles: English and Spanish
- Total Run Time: 148 minutes
- Closed Captioned: Yes