DON JON (2013)


Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Brie Larson

Directed by: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Synopsis: A New Jersey guy dedicated to his family, friends and church, develops unrealistic expectations from watching porn and works to find happiness and intimacy with his potential true love.

I’m a fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an actor. He’s an up and comer, someone who I think, if he hasn’t already, is going to hit big time. It looks as though he also has the directing chops as well, because Don Jon was an accomplished debut feature.

It won’t win any awards, and it won’t be at the top of many peoples best of the year lists, but it was a more than watchable effort for any director, let alone a first time one, who also happened to write it and star in it as well.

So JGL is caught in a bit of a porn addiction. Most guys are (aren’t we? Guys? Guys?!) but Don Jon takes it to a new level. Not satisfied with having real sex every weekend (Don Jon, Don Juan, get it?) he has to roll out of bed straight after his conquest has fallen asleep and sit in front of his laptop doing what he loves to do.

The thing is, he doesn’t reckon with the hottest girl he’s ever met. The beautiful but slightly out of touch with reality Scarlett Johansson. She can’t stand porn. In fact, she thinks all couples behave like they do in rom-coms and fairy tales. This is slightly at odds with Don Jon’s objectification of the fairer species. See where this is heading?

I thought it all worked fairly well. The concept was good, JGL and Scarlett Johansson were excellent. Jon’s family were a bit cliche in that Italian American bada bing kind of way, but the focus should be on the two leads anyway. Julianne Moore was great as usual, playing an almost mentor role to Jon.

Overall I think JGL can be pretty pleased with his first directors job, and I look forward to seeing what he comes up with next.

3.5 clappers

About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.


  1. Great review, Tom. 🙂
    JGL hasn’t disappointed me, so far. Julianne is known for her intense performance. Ever since seeing ‘Lost in Translation’, I have mixed emotions about Scarlett.
    In brief: your review and JGL convince me that this is a movie to watch.

    • Yeah JGL is a talented guy, and seems to be a bit like Ryan Gosling in that he makes good career choices rather than pay packet films.

      Are you saying you weren’t a fan of Lost In Translation? I loved that movie, and Scarlett!

      • Perhaps we just didn’t get it. 😦
        Is there a review in your archives? This might convince us to ‘revisit’ Lost in Translation.

      • There isn’t I’m afraid. I’ve kind of made a point of only reviewing new releases so far. Maybe I will go back and revisit it soon though as I do love it. I think Bill Murray is amazing in it. And the bit at the end when he whispers in her ear but you never know what he said is great!

      • Hmmm. I am a Bill Murray fan – this also applies to my husband. Perhaps we just expected something completely different…

      • Yeah maybe it depends what Bill Murray you were expecting to see? That film kind of started the second half of his career where he has played it more straight or deadpan rather than unhinged like in his early days.

  2. This was definitely one of my best surprises last year, I was expecting to see a movie where JGL just exploits the sexual plane bcos he was the director, but it left the movie feeling like he enumerated the exact reality that befalls both sexes fantasies. JGL is definitely shooting for the zenith and I can’t wait to see more from him. HItRECORDTV is phenomenal btw.

    • Yeah absolutely, I think JGL showed what both sexes think about each other pretty well. Sure, it was filled with nudity etc, but only to serve the film I think, and done more comedically rather than exploitative.

      I’ve not seen any hitRecord stuff, but I am aware of it’s existance. I need to check it out. Thanks!

      • Thanks for the reply, the movie served up more of a social message rather than a bland excuse for gratuitous nudity, and practically all the nude scenes were from porn sites anyway, and were used to serve the purpose of the story. Nice review altogether though.

  3. Excellent to the point review! Making me reconsider the film a little bit, I wasn’t so hot on it, but it does have its moments.
    “bada bing” lol 😀

    • I do recall your luke warm review Davide. And it certainly has it’s certainly not award winning, but as directorial debuts go I think it was fairly accomplished.
      Bada bing!

  4. Good review Thomas. Definitely shows that JGL is an interesting director, even if this does get a bit messy by the end. Still, it works more than it doesn’t, and there’s something to be applauded for that.

  5. Huh I’ve slowly been getting curious about seeing this film. Most of the stuff I’ve read about it is negative, but who knows? Sometimes I’m perverse in that way and really enjoy the supposedly “bad” stuff. Anyway, JGL is such a cutie, how can I resist?

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