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Movie Review

Don Jon also known as “Don Jon’s Addiction”

MPAA Rating: R for strong graphic sexual material and dialogue throughout, nudity, language and some drug use.

Reviewed by: Leonard Capobianco

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Romance Comedy Drama
1 hr. 30 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
October 18, 2013 (wide—2,200+ theaters)
DVD: December 31, 2013
Copyright, Relativity Media click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Relativity Media Copyright, Relativity Media Copyright, Relativity Media Copyright, Relativity Media Copyright, Relativity Media Copyright, Relativity Media Copyright, Relativity Media Copyright, Relativity Media
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Relativity Media

manipulation of women by men, and men by women

emotional immaturity

LUST—What does the Bible say about it? Answer

PORNOGRAPHY—How can I tell if I’m getting addicted to pornography or sex? Answer

TEMPTATIONS—How can I deal with temptations? Answer

fornication in the Bible

PURITY—Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

CONSEQUENCES—What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

Couple in love. Photo copyrighted
TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer
Featuring: Joseph Gordon-LevittJon
Scarlett JohanssonBarbara
Julianne MooreEsther
Tony Danza … Jon Sr.
Glenne Headly … Angela
Brie Larson … Monica
Rob Brown … Bobby
Jeremy Luke … Danny
more »
Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Producer: Voltage Pictures
HitRecord Films
more »
Distributor: Relativity Media

“a porn addict sets out to become a less selfish and better person”

This film was tauted as a “Comedy.” Some of the secular world’s reviews were “Funny,” “Edgy,” “A surprising gem.” That’s the popular culture’s perspective.

Soon after the film started, as a Christian, I found myself embarrassed to even be seen in the theater. Yes, it was that bad.

There’s no denying Joseph Gordon-Levitt Too bad he didn’t apply his skills to achieve a teachable moment for persons lost in sensuality.

He plays a single guy who “loves his porn” and boasts among his friends that he “pulls” a different woman every weekend. He is not interested in a relationship and only seeks pleasure from women giving them nothing of himself in return.

PORNOGRAPHY—How can I tell if I’m getting addicted to pornography or sex? Answer

Scarlett Johansson’s acting skills help us believe she really is a manipulative, shallow woman. Levitt becomes entwined in her web until she catches him viewing porn on his computer and leaves. He tries to win her back and, in the process, realizes she isn’t worth the effort.

Julianne Moore plays an older woman attending night school with Levitt, and they make a connection on a deeper level than he has ever experienced. ***SPOILER*** He stops watching porn, and the film ends with him having sex with her. ***END SPOILER*** Of course, we don’t know how long that relationship will last, but one can make an educated guess.

While I appreciate Levitt’s attempt at redemption, it is disappointingly limited from even a basic religious perspective.

He could have shown his character overcoming his sex drive and moving on to a more spiritual awakening. No one is saying a Christian should avoid sex—it is God’s gift to loving married couples. It is one of the pleasures of life, but we’re not to make sex “the” center of the universe.

LUST—What does the Bible say about it? Answer

PURITY—Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

Paul refers to Christians as living in the flesh and writes that part of us remains corrupt while awaiting final redemption when we go to heaven (Romans 8:12-17). And though we are subject to human desires, we are to struggle against the flesh and not supposed to so easily give in to them (Romans 7:14-25).

Jesus clearly and lovingly calls us to Him with this caveat: “If anyone wishes to come after me he must deny himself” (Luke 9:23).

And this is where Levitt’s character comes up short. The end of the film shows Don Jon… having sex in bed with Julianne Moore!

Levitt missed that teachable moment which could have helped guide others who are lost in the flesh. But he simply didn’t.

There’s an old saying, “If you can’t control yourself you won’t be able to control anything.”

Had the story taken us into his future, I predict the character Don Jon would eventually have an unsatisfying life, sadly lost in a world of desires that control him.

Therefore, this film cannot be recommended—except for the more jaded and “lost” audience.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Extreme—“Jesus” (5), “J*sus F*ck*ng Chr*st,” “J*sus F*cking,” “Jesus Christ,” “Ah Chr*st,” “For Chr*st’s sake,” OMG (3), “G*d-damn” (2), “damn” (2), “hell,” f-words (over 100), s-words (30), and various vulgar slang words for human sexual anatomy / Sex/Nudity: Extreme

Sex, Love and RelationshipsLearn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—Okay, first of all I would NOT recommend this to Christians. However, I think the point is being missed by many, especially the non-viewers who commented on this. This movie does not make his addiction funny, and it does recognize that it's a problem and it does ruin Jon's relationship with his girlfriend. But this movie isn't about the porn addiction, it's about sexualization in all forms of media, not just porn. And how this causes false expectations of what makes a man or woman. Jon think women have to be these perfect 10s.

Barbara thinks that men have to be romantic but typical men with a good job. She freaks out when Jon talks about cleaning his own house because she doesn't think this is how a man should act. Jon's dad doesn't consider Jon a man until he brings his beautiful girlfriend home. Jon's mom doesn't feel comfortable with herself because she is an older lady with no grandchildren.

It's a movie that tries to point out that there are problems with both sexes in society. Men who treat women like things, and women who manipulate men. And then Jon meets Esther who tells him that sex and his views about women due to the media isn't real. It changes him. Sure, it's not the Christian answer, but it is better than the way he was before. He stops watching porn and realizes he needed an emotional connection with someone. I really can't recommend this movie, but I do think that it was an accurate satire about modern society and it's sick exploitation of people in every form of media.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—O., age 21 (USA)
Neutral—Supported by many friends from his show HitRecord, Joseph Gordon Levitt directs in confidence his first feature movie, which isn’t the conventional romantic comedy. The characters explore the meaning of relationship by dealing with their self-centredness coupled with the fantasy of perfect relationships. All actors give pleasant performances. The editing offers some very clever montages and dialogues. However, the over-abundance of nudity, swearing and women objectifying at the beginning can be quite repelling, but the movie grows on us as the characters evolve and learn about their addictions and the impact on relationships.

Furthermore, there is a great parallel between pornography and romantic comedies, as well as going to church and going to the gym. In the end, if you decide to pursue the movie, you’ll discover many topics for gospel-centred conversations such as sex, relationships, marriage, family respect, friendship and confrontation, anger management, addictions and idols, church and penance…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Nicolas, age 28 (United Kingdom)
Comments from non-viewers
Neutral—This is unfortunate. As a man that has struggled with such an addiction, I was looking forward to watching this and what it might do to shed light on such a matter. I may now give it a miss. …
—R, age 28 (United Kingdom)
Negative—This movie has a lot of things wrong with it: first, we have a young adult male who’s obsessed with porn. In the movie it’s depicted as being funny but in real life such an addiction ruins people’s relationships with their family and friends, as it causes secrecy and eventually guilt. Second, he likes to have sex with girls he meets at night clubs. That’s dangerous in and of itself when you consider the amount of STDs going around. Third, he meets a woman who he has a true courtship with, but they sleep together while still in the dating stage (it’s really sad how writers can’t resist including premarital sex).

A strong word of advice: don’t see this movie. Even if you are young, I’m young too and this film didn’t appeal to me, mainly because it sounds disgusting. Yes, he tries to get help for his porn addiction, but meanwhile he sleeps with women who he barely even knows. I seriously wonder why every single movie that’s been coming out nowadays is absolute trash. What is wrong with people?! We really have to pray for these writers and actors/actresses.
—T., age 20 (USA)

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