Don Jon – Review
Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut about a lothario and porn addict learning to love is a triumph. Not only does he crack open a debate about the unrealistic expectations placed on both men and women when it comes to the opposite sex he threads in a warming love story too.
After too many one night stands Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) decides it’s time he started a meaningful relationship. Meeting who he thinks is the woman of his dreams in a nightclub he embarks on a plan to woo Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson, as a straight talking Jersey girl). Once the chase comes to an end, however, a depressing reality sets in, with the two at odds due to their distorted perceptions of how a couple should look and act.
Gordon-Levitt not only makes his point through this mismatched couple, he injects lots of humour with references to the formulaic romantic comedy, the highly sexualised advertisements which objectify women, and the machismo attitude instilled in some men from a very early age. He is also very careful not to make his story too one sided, with both sexes equally suffering and being manipulative. At times his characters become thinly veiled symbols for his clear cut agenda but there’s so much heart at the core of the story it barely matters.
A refreshing and smart alternative to the usual Hollywood romantic comedy which boasts some superb performances from a choice cast.