PLOT: Jon Martello (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a gym obsessed, porn addicted Jersey boy who has a special place in his heart for his car, his apartment, and his family. Oh yes, and who earned the moniker Don Jon for his skill at being able to “pull 9’s and 10’s” every weekend (I know, but stick with me here). After meeting Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), Jon does his best to change his ways and become the fictional leading man she has created from watching too many Hollywood love stories. Both seem obliviously unsatisfied and so begins the story of self discovery.
ENGAGEMENT: Written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, he proves with this directorial debut that he is a master of balance. Stories of sex are used to teach us lessons in love, and he keeps us laughing while bringing up weighty issues such as self-acceptance and how media has skewed our views of reality. The casting is on point with Glenne Headly, Brie Larson, and Tony Danza convincingly playing Jon’s family. Julianne Moore does what she does so well and plays Esther, a quirky, direct talking fellow student in Jon’s night class that he begrudgingly took due to the not-so-subtle suggestion of Barbara. Not without issues of her own, Esther helps show Jon a different perspective on life. Funny and insightful, Gordon-Levitt proves he is a director to watch.
Bonus: watch for the small, but phenomenal cameos by Channing Tatum and Anne Hathaway.
STYLE: Perfectly stereotypical Jersey with plenty of wife beaters (for Sunday dinner no less), tight clothes, oversized jewelry, and hair gel. Perhaps not cutting edge fashion, but quite befitting the film.
This movie should be 90% on your radar:
Release: Friday, September 27th
Rating: R (for strong graphic sexual material and dialogue throughout, nudity, language and some drug use)