Release Date: Friday September 27, 2013
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic sexual material and dialogue throughout, nudity, language.
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore
In Don Jon, (Written, directed and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is about a handsome and confident New Jersey who is addicted to pornography and is looking for a relationship that can match-up to his digital fantasies.
The first two acts of this movie involve a lot of repetition, which makes actually watching a monotonous experience. It basically goes, show a pornography clip, show, Jon goes to church to repent, and repeat. While this may be a very honest depiction of the seemingly endless cycle of addiction, it does not make particularly good entertainment. While it seems like I am making a habit being prudish in my review (See my review of The To Do List) I honestly do not have a problem with adult content in movies when it used effectively. In this case however it was used as a blunt object and the audience was beaten over the head with it repeatedly. This movie was no more capable of subtlety than its brash title character.
Another overly done element of this movie was its portrayal of Italian-Americans. Don Jon and his family played on every “Jersey Shore” type stereotype. It seems like a lazy and possibly offensive way to develop a character, Sure enough, an Italian American group (http://www.ereleases.com/pr/negative-stereotypes-italian-americans-perpetuated-joseph-gordonlevitts-don-jon-movie-italian-american-voice-coalition-174493) has complained about the sterotypical and denigrating characterization of Italian-Americans in the movie.
I did think that the movie improved as Jon sought to redeem himself in the movie’s third act and began to experience growth as a person; however, it was not enough to save what was ultimately a monotonous movie experience.
On my scale of 1-10 with 1 being the worst, 5 being the best and 10 being the worst again I give Don Jon a 2.25 with an emoticon based sub-ranking of: shrug.