Thursday, 5 December 2013

Don Jon

Friday last I went to see Don Jon.  In some countries I think it's Don Jon's Addiction, which is kind of film titles for simpletons.  Don Jon = Don Juan, innit?  So it's got to be a film about this great lover.  (You have to say "lover" in a sarcastic tone, and roll the R.)

To say I've been waiting months for this film would be nothing short of the absolute truth.  I couldn't find it sequestered online on some dodgy site where they keep telling you about Live Cams and to be honest, I wanted to wait for the cinema release here.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt is such a stand up sit down good guy it would have felt wrong watching it in pirate style.  If you don't mind I'll abbreviate Joseph Gordon-Levitt to JG-L to save my fingers.  And he isn't to be confused with John Gordon Sinclair.  Which you probably hadn't done, until now.

You may remember JG-L as the little stripling alien in Third Rock from the Sun.  Or as a stripling ado in Ten Things I Hate About You.  Or as any number of good things that followed.  JG-L also has an open collaborative production company called Hit Record where 'Writers, musicians, illustrators, photographers, video editors — artists of all kinds are invited to contribute their work...Once on the site, the hitRECord community collaboratively edits, builds upon, develops and remixes each others work'.

JG-L wrote, directed and stars in Don Jon, and he's a stripling no more.  The little alien has been eating his Weetabix and there is considerably more prime meat on him than before.  OK, I'll stop, it's a bit unseemly.  Along with the outfit of musculature, he has put on a character so far removed from any previous he has played that it seems almost to be another person.  I guess that's what acting is, huh.  But some actors, Bruce Willis for example, whom he played and played opposite in Looper, only ever play themselves.  Not a stretch.   Even I could play Bruce Willis.

I believe (although it's just a guess from the accents) that the film is set in New Jersey, which is sort of like parts of Essex by the look of things.  Scarlett Johansson's character Barbara would probably fit in fine down the Sugar Hut.  She snares Jon with the pneumatic promise of sex down the temporal line  which she holds like a carrot while talking him into "improvements" to his life.  He goes along with all this because he wants the carrot.  Only the carrot is always a disappointment to him and he looks for virtual carrots online.  In fact he prefers the online carrots because he can totally lose himself in carrot.

I will not give away the rest of the plot as it's quite a short film and I'm sure JG-L would prefer you to see it than read what I have to say about carrots.

All the supporting actors bring their A game (look at me, getting all American) but Julianne Moore is just luminous and lifts the story off the screen.  See the film, immerse yourself in a tale of carrots and marvel at how one little boy can grow to be such a man.  You know, he even speaks fluent French?  I actually want to be Joseph Gordon-Levitt. 

Don Jon (2013)
Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Writer: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly, Brie Larson.

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