Don Jon Blu-ray Review

Don Jon

In this digital world we live in, have we become so dependent on technology that we’re less inclined towards actual physical contact with our contemporaries?

Can it be possible to avoid ‘real’ relationships in favour of the ‘virtual’?

Is on-line stimulus enough to satisfy our desires, emotional and carnal?

In attempting to answer these questions Joseph Gordon-Levitt, long-time boy crush of my esteemed editor, has gone all Dennis Waterman in his preparation for the latest starring role as the eponymous Don Jon.

Our Joey writes, directs and stars in this tale of modern angst and internet pornography. He doesn’t quite stretch to writing or singing the theme tune. But my Hollywood mole tells me he did indeed make the tea.

Jon is a buff native of New Jersey who seems to spend his time working, cleaning, pumping iron, getting road rage, screwing, praying and reading the news. OK maybe not reading the news.

The moniker Don Jon bestowed upon him by his friends due to his success with the ladies acts as a mask for his hobby.

For what really gets Don’s Jon going is a spot of the old grumble. Well when I say a spot I actually mean rather a lot, hours in fact.

The love of his life is the palm of his good hand. The object of his affection his poor, corrupted, battered laptop.

However Jon is not your average internet wanker oh no. He has just pulled Scarlett Johansen, or Barbara, who is naturally oblivious to his penchant for specialist online video content.

Jon recognises in Barbara his ideal woman, scoring her a very respectable 9, and sees her as his route away from this grubby little pastime he has become somewhat attached to.

But will our hero be able to erase his internet history before Babs gets wind of his self-abusing tendencies?

Don Jon

Don Jon does not feel fully-formed as a story. It tries half-heartedly to explore the morality of porn but you always have the impression that deep down the writer knows the answer to his own question, despite the justifications and protestation.

The characters are not particularly relatable and the script does not provide a great deal of humour or insight.

Which is a shame as the next generation’s relationship with technology is an issue that is worth exploring and already is in other films, such as Spike Jonze’s Her.

Unfortunately, despite good performances form all of the cast, Don Jon lacks the insight required of a film trying to add its tuppence to a debate. Nor does it have the warmth or wit of a good romantic comedy, somewhat slipping between the two stools.

Gordon-Levitt’s no doubt well intentioned, all-encompassing hand-print is the main flaw with Don Jon, some assistance with the script may have made for a more interesting film.

Sometimes Joe, it’s ok to ask for a little help, to reach out and establish contact with a colleague or a friend.

Don’t sit behind that lap-top tapping away all day, it’ll make you go blind you know.

Frank Gardiner

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March 2014
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