Growing up as a teenager, i was not very popular in school. I had friends, but did not really care about having girlfriends. As you watch some of the high school movies that comes out every year, you always see some guy you can relate too, even if we dont look the same or like the same things. So what if you live like a teenager in your adult life, and don´t want life to change ? This is one of the subjects in Don Jon, the first motion picture directed by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Most people have seen Joseph in many different genre movies, Looper, The Dark Knight Rises, but this is the first time he tries to direct his own motion picture. With a cast of Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, and legendary actor Tony Danza, is this low budget drama a motion picture worth attention, or are the expectations too high to be true ?
Jon Martello ( Joseph Gordon-Levitt ) lives a hard life. He party often, have sex with different girls every weekend, he loves his car, his family, his church, but most of all, he loves to watch porn movies. In fact, he spends a lot of time infront of his computer, looking for the perfect porno movie. He personally think this is better than real sex, because the girls look much better than in real life. One night he meets Barbara Sugarman ( Scarlett Johansson ) in a night club. As he tries to take her home, she does not agree to follow him home. Thanks to a bartender, he gets more information about her, and contact her on facebook. She agree to meet him at a restaurant. As they get to know each other, they become a couple. Jon´s dad Jon Martello Sr ( Tony Danza ) loves his girlfriend, especially her tits. Jon´s mother Monica Martello ( Brie Larson ) hope she now can have grandchildren, and hopes that her son is happy now. But once Barbara finds out his obsession with porn movies, she becomes furious. He is given a choice, no more porn or she leaves. For a while it seems to work, until Jon begins watching behind her back. Barbara decide to leave, as Jon is devastated. While Jon continue going to school, to get a better education, he meets Esther ( Julianne Moore ) in class. Esther lost her husband and son in a car accident, and have a hard time to go on with the sorrow. She finds out Barbara left him for his addiction to porn, and tries to help him. While they get to know each other, Jon realise he does not need everything to be perfect to feel happy, he begins to find a new way to a different life.
I know some of swedish movie critics have been pretty hard on Don Jon, in their reviews. I understand you have to say how you feel about what you think, so i will say i do not agree with many of them. Don Jon is a really good drama, about a man struggling to find himself, in a world where he thinks you have to be the best, and have it all to be important. Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes a very powerful performance as Don, a very unsecure man, with very few future dreams. And read this, Scarlett Johansson as Barbara is fantastic, as the pretty girl who thinks she has to be treated like a princess everyday. She should be nominated for an award, she really delivers an unforgettable character. But it does not stop here. Tony Danza explodes on his screen time, i have never seen him this good, and he have been an actor since the 70´s, and never done anything as good as his character. Julianne Moore proves once again why she is a beloved actor. The story of Don Jon is very simple, but it is the performances that lift the whole story to a higher level, that makes you want to see how Don will get out of his problematic life. I hear all those rumours about 50 Shades Of Grey becoming a motion picture, i don´t think we need to care about that, when we have Don Jon to give us a hard punch of reality. One of the better drama motion pictures this year, with a raw tone, but that´s why i love this motion picture. I will look forward to Joseph´s next movie, if he decide to direct again, because he could bring a new hope in low budget projects brought to the big screen.