Friday, 31 January 2014

Don Jon (18) | Film Review

Don Jon, dir/scr. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, st. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Tony Danza, Julianne Moore, Rob Brown, Glenne Headly, Brie Larson

Don Jon purports to be a film about sex addiction, but whereas films like Shame drove the condition to almost unbearably realistic levels of awfulness, and Thanks For Sharing found a hope of sorts in the healing power of collective communion, Jason Gordon-Levitt's film (his first feature as director) merely finds contentment in happily confusing sex addiction with cartoony lad culture; Jon's not hooked on porn, he's obsessed with being a bellend. Weirdly determined to recycle the same key scenes with decreasing levels of wit or interest, we see Jon experience near-psychotic levels of road-rage in his big-dick/tiny-penis sports car, work out his scrawny body at his gym (that makes him look like the Russian kid on steroids that hit YouTube a while back), go clubbing with his equally degenerate 'boys', Bobby (Rob Brown) and Danny (Jeremy Luke), rate the women like the cattle they apparently are, take one of them home, have sex with them, wake up in the witching hour to crack one off to, and go to church the next morning for confession and absolution. Even the presence of Johansson, so eerily bewitching in Spike Jonze's acclaimed latest Her, isn't enough to break the seemingly endless cycle of tedium. Julianne Moore as Jon's fellow night-class student Esther provides a welcome diversion and injects a bit of class into the proceedings, but the film - ironically for a movie about masturbation - becomes blind to nuance or delicacy. It's an alarmingly extensive misfire that puts misogyny and egotism front and centre and seeks to make a running gag out of men being contemptuous to women and disrespectful to their own sex at the same time. Come the final throes, there is no sympathy for Jon, nor his 'condition'; he's just a massive wanker.