Movie Review: Don Jon

3.5/5 Stars

It’s Friday night, classes have just wrapped up for the week, and the night is young. Of all the different possible activities to do for fun, watching yet another romantic comedy may not seem that appealing. However, this film certainly stands out from the stereotypical date movie.

Don Jon follows Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jon Martello Jr., a young womanizer who is crazily addicted to pleasure. Gordon-Levitt has previously starred in intense action movies such as Inception and the Dark Knight Rises, but is no stranger to the romance genre having previously played the leading role in (500) Days of Summer, where fans may remember him there as a hard-working hopeless romantic. Think of that no longer, as Jon may be described as nothing more than a hound.
At night, Jon goes to clubs with his two boys, Bobby and Danny, played by the lesser known Rob Brown and Jeremy Luke respectively, and goes hunting for women. Fishing for one night stands is not Jon’s true secret passion though, as he has a major addiction to adult videos, spending hours surfing the internet to the point that his life revolves around them. The premise might sound a little extreme and absurd, but that is the point of the movie. Viewing the passing days of Jon Martello’s daily life makes it seem like his life is somewhat normal for American culture. When he is not engaged in adult activity condoned by his friends, he goes to work, exercises at the gym, prays at church, and eats dinner with his family, but his never ending desire for watching pornography is quite frankly unbelievable.

Jon’s life is completely inverted when he falls in love with the beautiful and sexy Barbara Sugarman, played by none other than the lovely Scarlett Johansson. Jon’s relationship with Barbara is tenuous at best, but the back and forth interaction between the two is hilarious to watch and at some points flat out silly. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson have a unique synergy as actors. While the character’s personalities heavily conflict at points, leading to some differing chemistry between both of them, the seductive smooth talk by Joseph Gordon-Levitt bouncing into heated debate is hysterical to watch.

If there is anything to learn from this movie, a light-hearted comedy with slight religious undertones seen in Jon’s weekly repentance for his sins, it is that at no matter what point in time humans are afflicted with imperfections. The concept of “Don Jon,” a lustful seducer of women, actually dates back to 17th century plays in Spanish known as “Don Juan.” This plot may be inspired from the past, but the presentation in a modern day environment is overall a very enjoyable experience. The nature of this movie means that not everyone will find this humor to be of his or her liking, but if the weekend comes and all a college student needs is a good laugh watching Joseph Gordon-Levitt strive for relationship perfection, this is the movie for them.

Don Jon premieres in theaters September 27th, and is a movie worth watching.

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