Don Jon (2013) Review

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My first review since my somewhat hiatus that I should’ve told people about, taking time to attempt to write more reviews than randomly write one out on the spot. Well here’s one on the spot again.

Plot: 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.

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Well, to start, this movie simply was great. Plain and simple. I was worried at how it would turn out, with such characters and their somewhat stereotypical Italian/Jersey accent and demeanor but I was extremely surprised at how brilliant, and funny this movie turned out to be. Joseph Gorden-Levitt, in addition to directing and starring as the lead in this film, wrote the screenplay, an original work based somewhat off of the character of Don Juan. It’s his first screenplay, and he’s already a seasoned writer. It did not in anyway seem like a first attempt, great dialogue, rich characters, genuine emotions, and best of all the movie was actually pretty damn funny in spots. Easily one of the best original screenplays of the year.

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And like I said, in addition to writing a fine screenplay, Levitt also directed this film. He made some really bold choices, with its low-budget charms and graphic pornography shots spliced every which way. I also enjoyed the use of the strobe-light effect, it can be very over-done at times but the cinematographer got it in a perfect measure.

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The performances were also top notch. Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing the aforementioned lead character Don Jon, a man-about-town type with an obsession with porn. It was a terrific performance, he showed real emotion with the role which was unexpected, especially in the scenes where he was attempting to explain that he preferred porn to the real thing, with cruder terms of course. Not every scene where he described that was filled with such emotion, because that’d offset the natural balance of the character, but towards the end, without spoiler, he showed some true emotion and heart. Levitt also had very impeccable chemistry with Scarlett Johansson, who played Barbara – the only woman he ever felt he loved. In addition to the terrific chemistry with Joe, Scarlett also gave a brilliant performance. Not to mention, along with the brilliant performances and chemistry from Levitt and Johansson, were some terrific supporting performances from Tony Danza and Julianne Moore, playing his father and a depressed woman from a class Jon’s taking respectfully.

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In conclusion, believe the hype. Plain and simple. Don Jon is a better movie than I expected it to be, although I expected it to be pretty great because Levitt is a very talented guy; and it really shows here. A terrific performance, a daring screenplay, great direction. He can do it all. I very highly recommend seeing this film as soon as possible!

My Rating: 9/10

Thanks For Reading!

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