Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who for years molded a surplus of indie cred on the heels of hip and edgy films like Brick, Mysterious Skin, and (500) Days of Summer to wipe away the slate of his sitcom roots, wrote, directed and stars in Don Jon, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to an excited crowd and decent reviews.
Premiering under the title Don Jon’s Addiction, the film is a romantic comedy about a vain Jersey lothario (played by Gordon-Levitt) who meets the proverbial “one” in the form of Scarlett Johansson – the addiction in the working title referred to his predilection for…hardcore pornography. Rumbles around Park City this past January posited the film as a cross between between Shame, the 2011 NC-17 rated art film that centered on star Michael Fassbender’s destructive sex addiction, and Jersey Shore, the decidedly less artful MTV reality series centering on chauvinistic Jersey clichés.
Relativity Media, which acquired the film following its premiere in Sundance, has a fairly difficult task to try to tactfully and artfully market the very R-rated character study/romantic comedy. It’s helpful, on that end, that Gordon-Levitt was able to elicit beguiling marquee names like Julianne Moore and Johansson (herself on a resurgence lately, thanks to The Avengers and the upcoming and intriguing sounding Under the Skin, a indie science fiction drama starring the actress as an alien who picks up unsuspecting natives of Scotland, a film from Jonathon Glazer, the director of Sexy Beast and Birth which will unveil at this years Toronto and Venice film festivals).
Gordon-Levitt plays Jon Martello, a hot a trot ladies man who succumbs to those typical romantic comedy ailments when he encounters Johansson’s character, a doll named Barbara Sugarman. As the relationship blooms, Jon’s addiction to hardcore pornography starts to interfere. Moore plays a pivotal role as an older woman who eyes Jon. The surprise of the film may come in Tony Danza’s already lauded performance as Jon’s wife-beater wearing father.
Don Jon will open September 27th after screening at this years Toronto Film Festival. Have a look at the trailer below.