Don Jon: A Semi-Critical Review
Written by Max Rettig
You knew that Joseph Gordon Levitt, went to Columbia, right? Yeah. Well, our Film Fanatic Max Rettig also goes to Columbia, so he decided to check out a free screening of JGL’s latest endeavor.
I got an email about a week ago from Ferris Reel, one of CU’s film-devoted clubs. It was an invitation to get into a free advanced screening of Joseph Gordon Levitt’s most recent movie, Don Jon. A good number of you probably got it too but deleted it shortly after it popped up in your LionMail. Obviously, I signed up. Hell, free screening of a movie that looked good in trailers (and was good-looking on screen. Really good looking. Hey, Scarlet Johanssen and about 50 anonymous club chicks?) Who’s gonna pass that up?
The cut-off time was 8:15. I hopped on a downtown 1 at 8:07 to get to 86. Despite the not-very-long line-up of people who, like me, had nothing better to do with a carefree, pleasant Tuesday evening, I sprinted (I use that term very loosely) to the AMC at 84th and B’way from the Subway.
8:47- Don Jon starts
The movie itself was not something I would pay 15 bucks for normally, but I’ll take free admission to even the worst movie ever. Don Jon didn’t do quite that bad, but it wasn’t brilliant either. The whole plot, however, is right up any college-age boy’s alley: JGL exudes confidence, club-hopping with his posse and finding any girl who can pass for
at least a 7 home. From there, it’s pound-town. Until the one night where JGL notices (or should I say his friends notice, as is the case with most of his one-nighters) an indescribably hot Scarlett Johanssen (who, btw, pulls off a brilliant LI accent). The rest of the night follows JGL’s typical pattern much to Johanssen’s apparent displeasure. JGL calls the girl, named Barbara Sugarman (no, she’s not Jewish or black, as JGL’s posse might have thought in the movie, and what you might have thought too). He calls her back a few days later and they meet up and start seeing each other. Then she walks in on him, after a night of what must have been really hot sex, watching Pornhub.
That’s where the relation to typical college-age boys comes in (at least ones who aren’t getting any yet). Basically she’s a princess who wants things done her way and for her, and he’s a guy not ready for a serious commitment, hence the porn. I don’t feel bad spoiling the movie because the rest of you are probably too busy to go see it anyway (take that as you please; work can have several meanings).
JGL and Scarlett break up after she catches him a second time, JGL meets an older woman at a class who he initially despises but eventually comes to appreciate and love (physically, not so much emotionally). She teaches him something about sex that he can’t derive from just watching porn and he learns from her. She ain’t no Scarlett Johanssen, but that’s not the point.
If you have a carefree night, and it isn’t too expensive, go spend the almost 2 hours entertaining yourself. Don Jon’s sister, who plays with her phone whenever she is on screen, even in church (sins!), has one line in the entire movie, but it’s perfectly placed and hilarious in its unexpectedness. It’s also surprisingly accurate. If you were going to see this and I spoiled it for you, too fucking bad. Should have stopped reading a LONG TIME AGO.
Tip: Even if not for this movie, shell out the bucks to sit for two hours in the 84th St. AMC. The screens are massive and the chairs are like those that mildly rich people have in their home theaters. You know, the push-button reclining ones that have graduated reclining? They’re cozy. You’re welcome.
Don Juan via Wikimedia