I’m so happy to let you know that all of the fuss about Don Jon —the sexy porn time comedy starring, directed, and written by Joseph Gordon-Levitt— is justified because, my god, it’s sooo good. JGL plays a young Jersey guy, who loves his family (which includes Tony Danza and Brie Larson), his church, his fitness and really loves his porn. He loves it so much that when it ends up alienating his first love, Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), he’s just like, “whatever.” It’s partially because he has an actual addiction to porn, but the other part is that he’s just a jerk. And, in some way, his being a jerk makes me love him even more.
This is the part where I catch you up to speed with a general synopsis of the movie, lest I seem to you like that crazy person who stands in the middle of the street who screams, “The end is near!!!” But, if it would make you happy, you can imagine me typing this while standing in a busy intersection. Because I aim to please. Speaking of aiming to please, that’s a thing that Joe’s character, Jon, doesn’t concern himself with. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that most decent sex partners feel that their partner’s enjoyment is, at least, equal to their own. But Jon focuses on two things: making sure that he is satisfied and, afterward, making sure that he can slip out of bed to go watch porn. Please kindly pick up your eyeballs from the floor and replace them each to their correct socket because you can’t read the rest of this review without those. But, yes, right after he’s done sleeping with Club Goer Girl #2136, he creeps out of bed and over to his laptop to actually satisfy himself. Because he enjoys porn more than sex, which is only the case because his expectations of sex are distorted because he watches so much porn. It’s a cycle that Jon doesn’t know how —or care— to break.
You see, before he meets the actual love of his life, Esther (played by Julianne Moore), he spends a year and a half in a relationship with Barbara. He spends about 85% of that time unhappy and forced to hide his addiction because she is wholly skeeved out by even the mere idea of porn. She thinks that she has successfully changed him for the better, but, in actuality, all that is accomplished is that he spirals further down the rabbit hole. But Esther, sweet, wise, and sexually explorative Esther. She doesn’t give a damn about porn watching one way or the other (a stance that I’m most able to relate to), but is concerned about why Jon relies so heavily on porn. She ends up actually helping him grow and he finds that he no longer even needs to watch porn to feel “whole.” Ladies and gentlemen, she showed him a whooole neeew worldddd.
I’m not generally attracted to “all the wrong guys” or whatever, so it’s not a case of that which makes me want to cuddle him to death. And maybe my obsession with JGL plays a teensy, tiny part in it. But mostly, it’s just that his character is likable in the weirdest way, despite his being the kind of guy that everyone —excluding those who are like him— loves to hate. He gels his hair to a rock-solid consistency and wears too-small shirt vests and stands in the middle of clubs rating girls around him on a 10-point scale. So, we’re talking a love of hating him of epic proportions. But, you guys, we see him grow so much throughout the movie and I just couldn’t stop myself from falling in love with who he becomes. He starts out self-centered and insensitive, goes through the Love Machine, and comes out as a whole new guy. I was so proud of him (as if he were a real person who I actually know.)
I’m just super pumped for a future full of movies Ben Affleck-ed by JGL. No disrespect to Ben Affleck, because what I mean is that I’m excited for a lifetime of stuff written by, directed by and starring Joe because I enjoyed this one entirely. 10/10 would see four hundred million more times. In fact, I’m going to figure out a way to pitch a series called “(500) Days of Joseph Gordon-Levitt” to a studio somewhere, which would just be JGL releasing a new movie everyday, for 500 days. There’s bound to be at least one more extremely lovable jerk to come out of that, right?
(Photo: Relativity Media via IMDb)