By Joe Chadowski
Halfway through Don Jon, the point of its madness all hit me; this is the Easy Rider (1969) of Generation Y. To explain, Don Jon is pure social satire. Joseph Gordon “The Situation” Levitt’s directing debut is a mirror into what our generation is. Not what’s wrong or right with it, just a mirror. And like the reflection in said proverbial mirror, you either like what you see, or don’t.
Jon, nicknamed “The Don” due to his skill of always picking up at least 8’s every night, meets and subsequently falls in love with the girl of his dreams. He then must come to terms with his routine-infested little life, the superfluous B.S. that comes with having a relationship these days and, oh right, his porn addiction. I suppose it goes without saying that there is gratuitous explicit dialogue and pornographic clips intertwined into the seismic story.
Don Jon is visually exceptional and expediently acted. It’s editing is off the Richter scale and its comedy is as tongue-in-cheek as it gets. Don Jon pings and fizzes with energy and feels positively alive. For that, Don Jon gets two stars. And one bonus star for being truly original, both in its seismic delivery and its tenacity.
There’s a clear sense that Don Jon has been honed for people that love film, in that it’s singular purpose is to inspire thought and discussion. Its message is 100% subjective. Unfortunately, and perhaps in an effort to highlight its point as a satire, Don Jon has a story with all the cohesion and structure of balsa wood. There is no background, buildup, climax, or falling action. Don Jon fails on the premise of basic storytelling. And that is unforgivable.
Make no mistake, this movie WILL be looked upon years from now as a concealed insight to our psyche. I know this may sound excessive, given this movie’s La-De-La approach, but look past what’s on the surface… and you’ll be looking at us. You may just not know it yet.