REVIEW: Don Jon

13 Sep

Let me just say this before I start – if you are not a fan of sex in movies, HAHAHAH do not see this film. I mean, if you can handle movie sex and some other explicit images make you a little nervous, you may even want to stay away. But other than that…

It was…

I… I don’t know? I think I liked it? I felt an overload of attempted New Jersey accents and the accents were so defined they were like a slap to the face? (I went to the film with someone from New Jersey who was grimacing at how accurate the accents were so A+?).  I mean I had problems with it, but I’m still thinking about the film, right?

I can hear the accents from here.

I can hear the accents from here.

My Score: 6/10

Metacritic: 57%

See if: If you like JGL and you’re okay with sexual scenes (and unique New Jersey accents), go right ahead.

I think the biggest thing that struck me as I was leaving the theater was how very like (and unlike) (500) Days of Summer it felt. Obviously not the same, but JGL’s character is obsessed with something (how his love life should be/porn) and focuses on his relationships as a result of that.

Of course this comparison goes completely screwy when his character in Don Jon is a muscle headed jerk while Tom in (500) Days is a “nice guy.” But moving on.

We learn that Johnny (who is so suave that his friends call him “Don Jon” …once) cares about very few things in life – his pad, his family, his car, his gym, his friends, his football, his women, and his porn. That’s actually a lot of things Johnny, but good going.

Within the first five minutes of the movie, we have Johnny meeting Barbara Sugarman, played by Scarlett Johansson, who is really quite fabulous this entire movie. If you can handle the accents in this film, you will be golden. He basically falls in love with her within an instant, and realizes that if he wants to be with her (or, in fact, “tap that ass”), he has to be willing to to put aside things that he cares for this girl that he thinks is the woman of his dreams.

don jon, joseph gordon levitt,

“Thinks.” and that’s all I’ll say.

The rest of the film is seeing him trying to deal with his life falling around him. Probably not that dramatically, but things in his life start to change. He dates a Barbara, distancing himself from his “bros” and the club nightlife, he starts to follow whatever his girlfriend says, and how he deals with his porn addiction while in his relationship is in danger of falling apart.

At the request of Barabara, Johnny starts taking night classes (we never figure out which school, which class, or how well he’s doing on tests because apparently going to class is all you need for college. I wish it was like that for me) where he meets a weed smocking Esther, played by the fabulous Julianne Moore. She catches him watching porn on his phone (because watching it in class is exactly what you should do), and a strange, odd, and educational relationship strikes up between that.

That sounds like 10 times worse than it should be but, like, it is.

In regards to the film, I liked all the acting. I didn’t like some of the characters. Some I disliked because you’re not supposed to like them (at points). Some … had no spoken names. I don’t think the best friends had names at all and if they did OOPS I completely missed them.

There was also the family aspect – the lecherous dad obsessed with football, the mom obsessed with Johnny finding a relationship, and the sister who… we… I don’t think we learn her age at all, only that she’s addicted to cell phones. Oh wow. Maybe that entire family had specific devotions, but we only got the opportunity to watch Johnny’s. HUH.

don jon, don jon's addiction, joseph gordon levitt, jgl, tony danza, brie larson, Glenne Headly

And suddenly the entire family aspect makes sense.

Would I recommend this film (to someone okay with sex in movies omg. My theater burst out in nervous giggles at one scene because it went on for far too long…)? I was informed that it was an A- movies, and while it wasn’t that high in my books, it was still quite enjoyable. I had some small problems with the storytelling, where certain characters reacted in strange ways or didn’t know about really obvious things that lead to their downfall. At the same time, I really liked how Johnny and Barbara’s relationship developed overtime, and how you could see the flaws in it, but you could really tell he loved her, and how that could be a problem.

Overall, I had a lot of fun watching it, and if you’re looking for a movie with lots of shirtless Joseph Gordon Levitt (huge plus)  speaking in a New Jersey accent (huge minus), you should check it out.

[Two small things though — if you didn’t know, I lived in Los Angeles for a period of time. So when, in this film, Johnny’s character drops the fast food chain “Carl Jrs” and people from the East Coast don’t understand… from what I see, that’s a Western, Southern US thing.

ALSO. Another thing – I took LA metro around town because I hate my life. An LA bus shows up in the background of a shot. I’m sure 99.9% of people reading this have either never seen these buses or, if they have, hiss in fear at public transportation in LA but it caused me to scream.]

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