home | index

Don Jon (2013) good movie
USA, 90 min, Rated 18A (ON) 16+ (QC)
Reviewed 09/13, © Stephen Bourne
www.ofrb.gov.on.ca | www.rcq.gouv.qc.ca

Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Director/Screenplay
Thomas Kloss - Cinematography


"Jon Martello (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a strong, handsome, good old fashioned guy. His buddies call him Don Jon due to his ability to "pull" a different woman every weekend, but even the finest fling doesn't compare to the bliss he finds alone in front of the computer watching pornography." - donjonmovie.tumblr.com


Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes his feature directorial and screenwriting debut with this surprisingly insightful man-child coming-of-age satire starring Gordon-Levitt as immature New Jersey bartender Jon Martello Jr., whose continued addiction to online porn after giving up his notorious womanizing ways threatens to sabotage Jon's budding relationship with Barbara (played by Scarlett Johansson), a girlishly seductive neighbourhood princess. Don Jon's supporting cast includes Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Brie Larson, Rob Brown and Jeremy Luke, as Jon's unassuming night school classmate-turned-playmate Esther, his dysfunctional parents Jon Sr. and Monica Martello, and Jon's equally boyish buddies Bobby and Danny, respectively.

This flick's title and Jon's nickname, 'Don Jon', is a play on the name Don Juan, the infamous lothario synonymous with unabashed sexual exploits who reportedly first appeared in Spanish playwright and Roman Catholic monk Tirso de Molina's 17th century play, The Seducer of Seville and the Stone Guest. Unlike Giacomo Casanova, Don Juan is a fictional character. All the same, he inspired Mozart's 1787 opera, Don Giovanni, and renowned English poet Lord Byron and famed French playwright Molière later put their own notable spins on the legend of Don Juan. #stamina

Hollywood's first big screen adaptation was reportedly Warner Bros.' 1926 drama, Don Juan, starring John Barrymore. According to Wikipedia - not Guinness - it holds a record for the most women kissed in a movie: 191. Errol Flynn, Johnny Depp, and Brigitte Bardot have also offered up cinematic interpretations of Don Juan over the years. Flynn's Adventures of Don Juan (1948) won an Oscar for Best Costume Design, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated Depp's Don Juan DeMarco (1994) for Best Original Song: Canadian rocker Bryan Adams' Billboard-topping single, Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman.

Admittedly, the humour throughout the first half of this 90-minute satirical character study is slightly demanding. It's dry and subtle, and will zip overhead without waiting for you to catch its deadpan wry vibe. Once you get past Jon's juvenile bravado and his hard core addiction presented as several visually jarring orgasmic montages, the tilted sense of reality these characters live by seems comparably normal. That's the genius of Gordon-Levitt's sharp and sassy, from-the-hip writing style here. Every scene is important to the larger story. Every line of dialogue crackles with relevance. None of it takes the tired old Screenwriting 101 path of attempting to be glib or self-referentially comedic. Awesome.

Yes, the pornographic stuff is graphic. It shows video imagery of what you'd likely imagine it shows: Naked women in sexually explicit situations. Sometimes they're solo, other times they're not. If that's why this movie piqued your interest, save yourself the price of admission and just run a free unfiltered web search for 'banana muffin' spelled sideways, I guess. Ultimately, this picture's message is porn is lame. (Read more)

continue to page 2 | top | home | index

Bookmark and Share

top | home | index

Amazon Canada | Shop Here!

Stephen Bourne's Movie Quips © Stephen Bourne. Moviequips.ca and moviequips.com are the property of Stephen Bourne. All content of this website is owned by Stephen Bourne, unless obviously not (such as possible reference links, movie synopsis and/or posters featured under the terms of fair use) or attributed otherwise. This website is based in Ottawa, Canada.