Guest / Limited Access /
Don Jon
Relativity Media
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson in Don Jon
Don Jon
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
(26 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
R (For strong graphic sexual material and dialogue throughout, nudity, language and some drug use)
Genre
Directed By
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Run Time
1 hour 30 minutes
Cast
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza
Theatre Release
September 27, 2013 by Relativity Media

The first scene of Don Jon (written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who also stars) features "The Don" Jon and two of his friends standing in a club, evaluating the appearance of every woman there. It's the pronouns that are important here: "It's a dime!" says one of Jon's friends (meaning a perfect ten out of ten). "Naw," Jon responds, "Maybe it's an eight. Maybe."

And so every viewer in the audience gears up for an object lesson about the Dangers of Objectifying Women, or the Soul-Withering Effects of Pornography, or something—but Don Jon is about something bigger than an addiction to pornography. There's never a moment where his porn addiction is treated like a "sin" in anything other than a nominal sense, as when Jon describes his actions to a faceless priest. No, for Levitt, porn is just a case study for what the film really cares about: why do we feel so alone?

Jon sleeps with different women every night, but still slips out of the arms of the woman beside him to go and watch porn. "I think I like porn better than [sex]," he says (though employing a more vulgar term). "I just lose myself in it, in a way I don't when I'm [having sex]." But when Jon decides it's time to get a girlfriend, Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), he realizes that she has her escapist fantasies, too. She sits in the theater and watches (staring at the camera wide-eyed and rapturous) as the film-within-a-film follows your traditional rom-com structure: meet, fall in love, break up, get back together, get married, ride off into the sunset. The cinematography emphasizes what Jon later makes explicit, at least in thought: "You ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueGive Us This Day Our Daily Chores
Subscriber Access Only
Give Us This Day Our Daily Chores
Why even our smallest routines are the stuff of worship.
RecommendedCohousing: The New American Family
Cohousing: The New American Family
How alternative forms of living are changing communities, challenging the church, and keeping millennials in the fold.
TrendingWhy Do We Have Christmas Trees?
Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.
Editor's PickThe Grace of Church Discipline
The Grace of Church Discipline
We do no one any favors if we ignore or downplay core beliefs.
Christianity Today
Don Jon
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

September 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.