His life is a circle of replenishing lust, a ritual of superficial pleasure that adds up to robotic emptiness. Some like it hot; Jon (“Don,” as in Don Juan, to his friends) needs it hot. Even his most attractive catches leave him unsatisfied, and he sneaks out of bed to his laptop. Real sex doesn't measure up to the fantasy of pornography that lets him “lose himself.”
But “Don Jon,” the writing-directing debut of Gordon-Levitt, equals something quite substantial: a speedy little comedy about not just sex addiction but modern lives wasted on shallow gratification.
Jon's compulsive routine is broken when he meets Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson, in full sex bomb). She requires the “long game” of dating and family-meeting before sleeping with Jon, but he judges her worth it.
When their relationship hits a road block, Jon finds himself drawn to an older, less glamorous woman (Julianne Moore), who epitomizes everything Barbara isn't.
Until Moore fully enters the film, “Don Jon” is little more than a cartoon, constantly flashing the pornographic images that roil Jon's mind. Though the point is that Jon is a cliche, it means the journey here is merely the awakening of a mannequin.
“Don Jon” is a lark, but an enjoyable one, and it further reveals the considerable talents of Gordon-Levitt.
Film review'Don Jon'
What: Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in this comedy as a man addicted to sex and porn who finds himself drawn to one young woman and one older one.
Where playing: Carmike-Dupont Road, Carmike-Jefferson Pointe, Coldwater
Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Rating: R strong graphic sexual material and dialogue throughout, nudity, language and some drug use.
3 stars out of four