Critic’s Corner: ‘Don Jon’

As a woman, I am practically required to adore Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Even when he was 17 and played Tommy on “3rd Rock from the Sun,” or when he had his breakout role as Cameron in “10 Things I Hate About You,” Gordon-Levitt was adorable, intelligent and hilarious in every project he worked on.

So, once I saw the trailer for “Don Jon,” I was beyond excited to see that not only was Gordon-Levitt set to star in the film, but also that he had written and directed it himself. My friends and I were über stoked to gaze upon JGL once more.

Yet, I don’t think any of us truly knew what this film had in store for its audiences. One of the first things that came out of my mouth once the opening credits began was “Oh. My. GOD. What have we gotten ourselves into?!”

The film focuses on Gordon-Levitt’s character Jon and the few necessities he has in his life: his body, his pad, his ride, his family, his church, his girls, and, of course, his porn. If you’ve seen the trailer for the film, you knew that porn would make an appearance, but I didn’t expect it to do so with such a vengeance.

The film was originally titled “Don Jon’s Addiction,” and it’s obvious as to why after watching Gordon-Levitt pleasure himself to pornography for the majority of the film. The film even began its credits with intercut videos of scantily clad women in music videos, commercials and even other movies, which made it seem like the message of the film would be about the objectification of women. But, as we continued to watch the film, Gordon-Levitt’s message, if there even was one, was a bit too confusing to determine.

Jon finds a “dime” in his favorite nightclub named Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), who initially denies his advances. She soon gives in to the man who most women would die for a chance to be in the same room with, and takes him to see a movie about a pretty woman falling for a pretty man (Anne Hathaway and Channing Tatum, respectively), which Jon believes to be completely unrealistic. The couple later argues about the reality of films versus porn, and both offer a grain of truth: neither medium is realistic, yet people still spend their money on and enjoy both.

This point is one of the main messages you will receive from the film. In fact, it is one of the only ones you will get. Although I still am a huge fan of Gordon-Levitt and cannot wait to see what he does next, this film is definitely not for the average fan. The majority of the audience was male, which I didn’t initially believe would be the case, but made more sense about five minutes into the film. The film seemed like a romantic comedy, but turned out to be something that one would be more likely to find in an adult video store. Because the trailers were a bit misleading, I was somewhat disappointed (even though it was fabulous to see all of these actors do their best Jersey accents in that remarkable Jersey apparel).

While the $12 ticket was definitely worthwhile to see Gordon-Levitt’s beauty, I can now say I have seen more pornography than I had ever wanted to see in my life. If you’re into that, have fun.