Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes impressive directorial debut

Tom Richardson, Staff Writer

“Angels in the Outfield,” “(500) Days of Summer,” “Inception” and “The Dark Knight Rises.” What do all of these films have in common? They all star the very talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who recently made his writing and directorial debut with “Don Jon.”

The film follows a womanizer named Jon Martello, Jr. (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), as he lives a routine life of working out, cleaning his “pad,” hanging out with guy friends, having one-night stands with gorgeous women, and watching massive amounts of pornography.

But Jon’s life changes, once he meets a woman named Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson). Unlike the other women that Jon has made moves on, Barbara wants Jon to take things slow with her, rather than immediately pursuing sexual activity.

Barbara wants Jon to accompany her to some romance movies at the theater, and to be with her when she goes shopping, and visits with her family. But things immediately turn sour. When Barbara finds out about Jon’s unhealthy addiction to pornography, and begins to worry how he might really feel about her. As things with Barbara start to come to a close, Jon meets a woman named Esther (Julianne Moore), whom he meets during a college night class. Esther helps Jon come to the realization of what real love is, and helps Jon get his life back on track.

“Don Jon” is a very promising start for Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

He has even established an interesting cinematic style, that includes unique music incorporation, and an interesting quick-cut editing approach. The film consistently maintains laugh-out-loud humor throughout its running time, as well as making certain scenes feel “sexy” when needed.

The film also has a lot to say about the over-expectations that men and women sometimes have for relationships because some people form their romantic expectations, based off of what they see in movies and the media.

Though “Don Jon” is both funny and sometimes sexy, it runs into a few small bumps along the way. The first being that the scenes involving Jon’s day routines, start to get repetitive after awhile, as if Joseph Gordon-Levitt is worried that the viewer might forget about Jon’s routines.

Some viewers might not like the direction of Julianne Moore’s character, as it leaves the once-interesting mentor side of this character in the dust after awhile. The audience also never sees Jon at his day job even though several characters bring it up.

“Don Jon” is a very impressive directorial debut from Joseph Gordon-Levitt. For those who like romantic comedies with a bit of a dirty side, and for those who consistently enjoy the on-screen presence of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, “Don Jon” will leave you wowed, and will put a smile on your face.