Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes his feature directorial debut with Don Jon’s Addiction at this years Sundance Film Festival. A triple threat, Gordon-Levitt also stars in and writes the comedy, which focuses on his character’s journey to finding a more fulfilling sex life. Probably one of the most refreshing and unique comedies at the fest, this film does more than just deliver salacious sex scenes and big laughs, but also meaning and an important message about consumption. Damn, Levitt! Looks like you might be handing yourself an award at the award ceremony!

The Players:

  • Director/Screenwriter: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • Cinematographer: Thomas Kloss
  • Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly, Rob Brown, Brie Larson

Synopsis:

Don Martello objectifies everything in his life, including women, earning him the nickname Don Jon for his ability to score a ‘ten’ every weekend. Realizing that his satisfaction comes mainly from watching porn, he sets out to find a more fulfilling sex life and learns very different lessons of life from two women he meets along the way.

The Good:

  • The Message: In this seemingly controversial film, packed solid with porn, was possibly one of the sweetest and most honest messages about romance. Love, sex, partnership, is something almost everyone strives for. So businesses have found ways to corner the market with porn, sexy advertisements and even romantic comedies to try and give people want they want — a fantasy about what love really is. A bit of pleasure isn’t a bad thing in any way, the problem is when we’re so inundated with fantasies, that sometimes people opt out of life. Through this non-rom-com, rom-com Gordon-Levitt was able to shine a light on a number of the ways that we distract and disillusion ourselves, in an attempt to buy the life we want or are told me want, instead of living the one we have.
  • The Acting: Gordon-Levitt dominates this film. He obviously knew it from all angles and did a great job with directing himself. His accent was so spot on, it was hard to tell who was talking at first. That being said, his supporting cast was also just as amazing. I never could have imagined finding Scarlett Johansson anything but gorgeous, but when she gets going with her long nails, gum-chomping, Jersey accent, she was wonderfully hate-able. It was so much fun to watch her take that risk and wildly succeed. Tony Danza and Glenne Headly were amazing together, and it was great to see the two work off each other. Julianne Moore is a fantastic crazy lady who is always adds depth to every roll she’s in. And Brie Larson, brought the laughs and the knowledge with only one line — she rocks.
  • The Presentation: The first 5-10 minutes of the film feel like they want to shock you, they feel almost pretentious and like they are trying to force your attention, but then the film drops into what it really is, and all that front, suddenly adds to the films depth and gives more meaning to the message.
  • Sex Scenes: As stated, there’s a lot of porn in this film, BUT when you finally get down to the “real sex” in the film, it’s some of the most realistic, passionate and emotionally honest portrayals of sex on film. And the use of condoms in all the sex scenes, was not only realistic and important, but showed responsible filmmaking.

The Bad:

  • Got nothing…

Overall:

This was a genuinely entertaining film, that is very well made, has no excess baggage anywhere, and reveals an important message about love and honesty through the veil of porn. Fun times!

Rating: 8.5/10