Picture the scene. A Hollywood mogul’s office. Joseph ‘I’m Not Just An Indie Actor, I Was In Dark Knight Rises and Inception’ Gordon-Levitt is clutching a script in his sweaty paw. Mogul is chuffing on a fat Cuban (cigar, not human) and swilling bourbon.
JGL: ‘So I’ve written this film that I want to direct. It’s about a guy who watches loads of porn and sleeps with Sexiest Younger Woman In The World Scarlett Johannson and Sexiest Older Woman In The World Julianne Moore. Whadday think?”
Mogul: “Sounds great, kid. Who’s the lucky guy that gets to star?”
JGL: “Er, me?”
Now you may scoff, but this conversation actually happened. OK, maybe not word for word, but in some shape or form because essentially, this is Don Jon.
Don (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a bit of a jerk. He hangs around bars with his oafish mates rating girls from 1-10 and sleeping with those deemed sufficiently attractive. Till one day the divine Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) appears. Don is smitten and, after a hot pursuit, snags the apparent girl of his dreams. Don also has a guilty secret. Don is addicted to porn and can’t relate his hyper-real internet world to the actual reality of love and relationships. Girlfriend or no girlfriend, Don can’t resist the lure of his computer screen.
Luckily, help is at hand from Esther, an older woman Don meets at nightschool. Accidentally discovering Don’s distasteful habit, Esther finds it hilarious and sets about trying to educate him.
This isn’t an easy subject and the squeamish might find some scenes a little too frank. But it’s impressively honest in its confrontation of a topic generally swept under the carpet, making astute points about the effects of the prevalence of internet pornography. It’s also very funny in places, with JGL and Scarlett launching into the New Joisey twang of their (very pretty but slightly dense) characters with gleeful aplomb. If you’re up for something a bit bracing, give it a go.
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