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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

‘Don Jon’ is a good start for Gordon-Levitt’s career

OK, referring to my previous post, here are my initial thoughts regarding the movie "Don Jon," which was written and dircted by, and stars, Joseph Gordon-Levitt:

1, The movie is far more edgy that the trailers would suggest. Yes, "Don Jon" is funny. But it's also a serious look at a 20-something guy's lurch toward maturity. This is likely to take some viewers by surprise.

2, "Don Jon" is an unabashed look at two taboo topics: pornography and male masturbation. And while it doesn't endorse either, it does admit the obvious: the first is easily accessible, the second is a fact of life and both are far more prevalent than polite society wants to admit.

3, Though her character is as unlikeable as any I've seen in recent movies, Scarlett Johansson shows a pretty good ability at creating a memorable character.

4, Gordon-Levitt, whom I will always think of as that kid from "3rd Rock From the Sun," has overcome the odds and made a decent start in forging an adult career. After starring in such films as "The Brick," "The Lookout" and "(500) Days of Summer" — not to mention scoring roles in blockbusters such as "Inception" and "Lincoln" — he's now writing and directing his own work.

5. For all its many qualities, "Don Jon" is strictly for a younger audience. The emotional growth that Gordon-Levitt's character shows is only the first baby steps toward maturity. The movie ends just at the point where his character's struggle is really going to begin. Having been through that struggle myself, I was waiting for the movie's third act … when the screen went dark and the credits began to roll.

So, while I'm still working out my thoughts, and while I appreciate much about the movie, I recognize that "Don Jon" isn't a complete success. Good start to Gordon-Levitt's directing career, though.

Not bad for someone who spent his childhood on a sitcom.