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Don Jon is the most modern of romances

Don Jon starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Julianne Moore. Photo: PA Photo/Warner Bros

Don Jon starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Julianne Moore. Photo: PA Photo/Warner Bros

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s first foray as writer-director is a comedy of modern mores that is by turns hilarious, smart and touching.

He is aided and abetted by a talented cast, who relish the script’s razor-sharp dialogue.

Don Jon has echoes of Saturday Night Fever, without the darker undertones, with its swaggering, bed-hopping hero and New York locale.

Only here, the central figure doesn’t get his kicks via the Bee Gees, but from spending unhealthy amounts of time watching X-rated films.

Real sex is good “but it’s not as good as porn”, asserts Jon Martello (Gordon-Levitt), whose unrealistic attitude makes it impossible for him to forge lasting relationships.

That changes when he meets sex bomb Barbara Sugarman (Johansson). Romance blossoms but fractures appear when Barbara catches Jon at his laptop.

Gordon-Levitt is a charismatic hero heading for a fall while Johansson is a hoot with a pitch perfect Noo Joizey accent. Strong language and occasional glimpses of pornography account for the 18 certificate but for the most part, Don Jon shies away from explicit, lurid and gratuitous detail. Less is definitely more.

 

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