Tonight, I saw the writing and directorial debut of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s film, Don Jon.
Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a twenty something Italian male from New Jersey who is fixated on the external images of himself and his world. While he has no problem finding female companions, he prefers pornography over the real thing.
He meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) at a club and they start a relationship. But Jon is still addicted to porn, despite his promise to Barbara to stop. She also encourages him to attend night school where he meets Esther (Julianne Moore).
Included in the cast of characters are Jon’s friends, Bobby (Rob Brown) and Danny (Jeremy Luke) and his family. His parents, Jon Sr, (Tony Danza) and Angela (Glenne Headley) and his sister Monica (Brie Larson).
There is a first for everything. While the lead character is certainly compelling, it is a very stereotypical view of Italians and more specifically, those of Italian descent who live in New Jersey. To paraphrase another reviewer, the character is almost out of Jersey Shore.
It an admirable first film for Gordon-Levitt, as a writer and director. But it not the best film I have seen this year and I hope he will take both the good and the bad from this film and apply those experiences to future films.