Joseph Gordon-Levitt is among our fastest rising stars although the 32-year-old actor is already a vet, having his break-through as a youngster in Robert Redford’s 1992 drama “A River Runs Through It.”
It’s a brave and good thing that he is now trying his hand at writing and directing, making his feature debut in both areas with “Don Jon.” He demonstrates the same fearlessness he has as an actor but perhaps breaks a few too many rules with his first film.
Such as — characters who lack empathy, off-putting lighting and sets and a failure to identify a purpose that might bring audiences into his passion project despite his obvious commitment to his story and fellow actors.
This is the second recent movie to deal with sex addiction in as many weeks. Unlike “Thanks for Sharing” though, “Don Jon” zeros more specifically in on male addiction to Internet porn.
It’s clear that Gordon-Levitt wants to delve into the topics of sexual objectification, intimacy and the media but he never quite gets a firm grasp of his story and characters to do so in any meaningful way. The film is thus a little too ham-fisted and obvious.
The people inhabiting his New Jersey community are all real enough, if by real you mean people you recognize as those you might brush up against daily life. These are also the kind of people you would strenuously try to avoid.
Everyone is so self-focused and misdirected by fantasies — Gordon-Levitt lays considerable blame on all media for this extending beyond porn to films, cell phones and TV — as to be insulated from real life.
I suppose one could argue they’re all products of our contemporary environment and media, but you wonder if one can truly blame so many outside forces for such lam