don jon

So apparently he can write and direct too.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s star has been exploding the past few years, and with good reason.  He’s given outstanding performances in big budget fare like Looper, The Dark Knight Rises, Lincoln, and Inception, and indies like 50/50, (500) Days Of Summer and Brick.  Well, in Don Jon, he’s not only starring, but he wrote and directed the film, and this is quite the review.

scarlettDon Jon is a blazingly original and outrageous comedy with JGL starring as Jon Martello, a gym-tan-laundry boy who cares about “my body, my pad, my ride, my family, my church, my boys, my girls, my porn”.  Yes, he’s addicted to porn.  In voiceover, Jon goes into detail about the type of porn he likes, how he likes to watch it, and why he prefers it over real sex.  Then he meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson, who’s never been funnier) at a club and she rocks his world.

The best thing about this is that both Gordon-Levitt and Johansson go way over-the-top with their characters that could be part of an episode of Jersey Shore.  They have the thickest Jersey accents possible with big hair, flashy clothes, and they say “baby” a lot. It’s laugh out loud funny.  Both Joseph and Scarlett go for it and it’s so much fun to watch.

julianneIf that wasn’t enjoyable enough, then Julianne Moore turns up in a mysterious role that you can’t quite figure out where her character is going to go.  Barbara convinces Jon to go back to school, where he meets Esther (Moore), a fellow night school student.   She catches him watching porn on his phone, and brings him a “classier” dvd to watch.  We only get Barbara in brief moments for a good portion of the film, so you’re not quite sure how she fits into it all.

Once the film is over, you realize what a feat Moore has to pull off with her character and she does it easily.  This is why you get Julianne Moore to be in your movie.  Give her a difficult role that does a lot of shifts and she makes it all look seamless.

Don Jon is a very entertaining comedy made with such startling originality that you simply get to watch a fun story anchored by a multitalented star and fantastic supporting performances.

Grade:  A-

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