Don Jon’s Addiction is written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt as his directorial debut. The movie stars JGL as a Catholic Jersey boy going through the motions of his life: work, church, clubbing. He fulfills his duties to his family, including Sunday dinners with his mom, little sister, and dad (Tony Danza). Every weekend he and his friends go through the stereotypical club motions as well: getting ready, drinking, and dancing, all in search of a one night stand. JGL, known as Don Jon, is a work hard, play hard kind of Jersey boy. Out of his friends, Jon is most successful at scoring with beautiful women time after time.
There’s a problem though: No matter which sexy woman he brings home, Jon prefers watching porn alone to real sex.
Through a smart, repetitive editing style, we feel the monotony of his weekly routine: gym, club, church, family dinner. His life appears sterile and lonely, albeit through a humorous tongue-and-cheek lens. So, when he meets a gorgeous woman (Scarlett Johansson) and strikes out with her, his interest is peaked. His life may have the opportunity to break out of its routine and, possibly, break away from his porn addiction. Meanwhile, Jon begins taking community college courses where he interacts with Esther (Julianne Moore), a woman who weeps seemingly on command, and who inadvertently makes him very uncomfortable. These two women will change his life.
The film obtained an R rating undoubtedly for its core conceit and its numerous but short porn clips peppered throughout the film. Despite how hardcore the film may appear, nothing X-rated is shown. Instead, sharp editing and the alignment of clips create the proper tone.
So, what does that all mean? Don Jon’s Addiction could be a break out summer comedy. It’s commercial, hilarious at times, and it already feels like a studio picture. It may not win any awards, but it is a very well done comedy with some great performances. The film lures its audience into a comfortable place where laughs are the norm, and then slowly morphs into a movie with a heartfelt message at its core. Somehow, JGL did it, he created an enjoyable, pretty darn good movie centered around Jersey boys and porn.
Don Jon’s Addiction is slated to come out summer 2013.