‘Don Jon’ Reveals More Than Just Naked Bodies

Nathan Fisher

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Illustration by Sophie Cooper-Ellis

Moviegoers in Walla Walla hit the jackpot this weekend when several promising new movies were released. My choices were boiled down to porn versus drinking buddies, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s new comedy about porn addiction, “Don Jon,” won. That’s right, an R-rated kind of pornographic dramatic comedy entertained!

“Don Jon” follows the day-to-day life of Jon Martello (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, also in his directorial debut), affectionately called Don Jon by his friends for his ability to hook up with super-hot girls every weekend without fail. Don Jon’s weekly routine consists of cleaning his house, working out every morning, cleaning his car, eating with his family and going to church every Sunday. Jon’s mantra is “My body, my pad, my ride, my family, my church, my boys, my girls, my porn.” Oh, did I forget to mention Jon is a porn addict? Or maybe he is a porn aficionado… Either way, Jon loves to watch porn more than he likes having actual sex. Every Sunday at church Jon confesses to the various numbers of times in the past week he lied, had premarital sex, watched porn and masturbated. Sins repented, hands clean (so to speak) and ready for a new week.

Jon’s weekly exploits follow the same routine until he falls for the hot, heavily Joisey-accented lover of romance movies Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson). While Jon and Barbara have a lust-filled relationship, things take a turn when Barbara catches Jon watching porn after they have sex for the first time. As the movie continues, Gordon-Levitt explores the balance between love and sex. It’s more than just a pornographic dramatic comedy; it also takes a deeper look at issues of addiction, sexism, family values and what makes the ideal mate.

Gordon-Levitt has matured from a child actor into a solid performer in “Looper” and “Inception,” and now “Don Jon” is his very impressive debut as a director and writer. Although Gordon-Levitt clearly displays his body and appears shirtless for at least three quarters of film, he has assembled an all-star cast of young and old hotties with great chemistry. Tony Danza and Glenne Headly play Jon’s parents; Julianne Moore is a quirky, fun and free-spirited nighttime classmate with some of her own problems. Gordon-Levitt is somehow able to make the audience laugh with Jon instead of laugh at him, empathize with him instead of pity him.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed “Don Jon,” beware that porn clips and montages constantly flash on the screen. Gordon-Levitt is graphically seen having sex or masturbating: this film is rated R for a reason! That being said, head (pun intended) to the theater, buy a tub of popcorn and enjoy! Just maybe not as a first date…

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