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Friday, September 27, 2013

Don Jon (2013)

A young Lothario (Joseph Gordon Levitt, who also wrote and directed) has no problems scoring with the ladies. But the real thing doesn't satisfy him as much as watching the pornography he's addicted to. Even after making love to a beautiful woman, he'll slip out of bed and go to his laptop to get off on porn. Then he falls in love with Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) and tries to change .... but can he? Whether starring in big summer blockbusters or quirky indie films, Joseph Gordon Levitt has consistently been one of the most intriguing and appealing young actors on the film scene for the past several years. As a working class Italian-American (the family Sunday dinner scenes are priceless!), Gordon Levitt doesn't condescend to his "Guido", winking at us how much smarter and better he is than the character. He invests Jon with a sort of guileless innocence, a stud muffin who goes with all sincerity to confession every week to be absolved of his porn addiction ... only to do it all over again. Unlike most romantic comedies, nothing is tied up in a neat little ribbon and at the end its characters still struggling a day at a time, even as some of them can't see their own flaws. Johansson is sensational here, is there a sexier young actress working in movies right now? You can see why Gordon Levitt pursues her when she refuses to be another conquest. The sadness is that her expectations are just as unrealistic as his are. The cast is wonderful: Julianne Moore as the bruised older woman who attempts to mentor the protagonist, Tony Danza and Glenne Headly (where has she been?) as his perfectly matched mismatched parents and also Anne Hathaway, Channing Tatum and Cuba Gooding Jr.

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