Film Review: DON JON

Directed and Written by Joseph-Gordon Leavitt
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headley

DON JON is an auspicious beginning to a broader career for its writer-director-star, Joseph Gordon Leavitt. Jon tells you at the start of the film about the things that turn him on: family, friends, a toned body, a neat apartment, porn. Porn, in fact, provides the ultimate orgasmic moment after every date. In a sense it is the sole kick in a life that is all too ordinary in other respects.

When he meets Barbara Sugarman (Johansson), she begins to mold him into the type of guy she deems worthy of her. He goes to school, meets her family, takes her home to meet his (Danza and Headley), but even after she discovers his secret, he cannot give up porn. The perfect dime (as he and his friends call it) makes demands he cannot meet. And his new friend (Julianne Moore) helps him to see why.

This is a sweetheart of a movie. It takes some unexpected turns, had some unexpectedly wise moments. There are some clichés here and there and some squishy moments, but it speaks well of a deepening of both talent and interest from its star. Who would have thought a movie about porn could be so pure at heart?

Patti Abbott