TIFF 2013: JGL Goes to GTD – Gym, Tan, Direct


By: Addison Wylie

If you can bear with Don Jon’s vulgar vocabulary, you may find yourself swept up in Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut.  It’s a modern day romance with just the right dash of sweet and salty.

Gordon-Levitt plays the title character, a guido with a heart who loves to spend time with his boys, work out, and scope out chicks.  At the end of the day, he likes to come home and watch a lil’ porn.  Y’know, in the same way a mouse would consider seven blocks of monterey jack cheese a “snack”.

Gordon-Levitt’s quirky love story is amusingly crass, but soon becomes a very charming vehicle for the ambitious filmmaker/actor.  He’s also able to pull an adorable yet abrasive performance from Scarlett Johansson and an energetic portrayal from Tony Danza as Jon’s father, who looks as if he would explode if he became anymore frustrated at his son.

Don Jon slowly but surely shifts into more of a serious tone as it faces Jon’s pornographic addiction head-on.  Denial is handled well and none of his gradual weening seems forced or heavy-handed.  It’s not as much fun as the lively first act, but the added weight makes Don Jon into something more than a thumping, intentionally shallow fever dream.  However, during that stylized first act, Don Jon is able to maintain the party without feeling obnoxious.

Don Jon isn’t only a pretty good directorial debut from Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  It’s a pretty good movie overall.


Don Jon has its Canadian premiere at TIFF on September 10 at 6:30 p.m. as well as an encore screening on September 11 at 3:00 p.m.

Can’t make the festival? Catch Don Jon in theatres September 27.

Rating: R
Language: English
Runtime: 90 minutes

Realted Links:

For more information on the festival, visit the official TIFF webpage here.

Check out the Don Jon TIFF page here.

Buy tickets here.

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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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