Friday, October 11, 2013

Don Jon (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies

“Don Jon”

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

My friend Marc and his wife recently had dinner with Jane Gordon and Dennis Levitt. Jane and Dennis’s son Joe joined them. You may know him as Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the young actor who played Robin in the Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has had other juicy film roles: “(500) Days of Summer,” “Inception,” “50/50,” “Looper,” and ”Lincoln.” He debuted at the age of ten in Robert Redford’s “A River Runs Through It.”

And he was cute on the TV sitcom “Third Rock from the Sun,” too.
“Joe is a great guy,” my friend tells me. “Amazingly unassuming given his incredible run. He seems to just take everything in stride.”

Now, Joe’s taking a big step: writing, directing, and starring in his own film, “Don Jon.”

As my friend points out, “He’s incredibly versatile, having played: hippies, homosexuals, killers, normal people, superheroes, comedy roles, song and dance routines and more.”

With “Don Jon” -- currently showing at the Tropic Cinema -- he’s changing skins again. Don Jon is a buff version of Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a wife-beater undershirt.

“There’s only a few things I care about in life,” says this latter day Don Juan. “My body, my pad, my ride, my family, my church, my boys, my girls, my porn.”

It’s this addiction to porn that gets in the way of him having a great new relationship with one sweet Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson), “the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

“She caught me watching porn,” he confesses to his boys.

The film’s working title was “Don Jon’s Addiction.”

“I thought you were different,” Barbara accuses.

“I was just checking my emails,” he claims. But she doesn’t buy it.

Yes, this girl is too good to let get away. “Amazed I’m gonna try something new,” he decides.

Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Brie Larson, and Glen Headly join this comedy repertoire. Anne Hathaway, Channing Tatum, Cuba Gooding Jr., Meagan Good, and John C. Reilly also make cameo appearances.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt credits his experience directing short films for hitRECord for teaching him what he needed to know to make “Don Jon.” is his open collaboration production company, a crowd-sourcing venture that makes videos, audios, text, and images. Here on this website he’s known as RegularJOE.

“It’s something I started with my brother as more of a hobby,” he tells us. “We use the Internet to collaborate with artists from all over the world. Anybody can come contribute.”

Just like my friend says, “Despite all his success, he seems like a regular guy. His family and friends just call him Joe.”

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