‘Don Jon’ presents unique plot scenario, lacks character development


A Hollywood movie that brings light to the unrealistic expectations set by the pornography world is a fairly original concept. There have been many documentary movies and books made regarding this issue, but few Hollywood films address it head on. Yet, even though this movie puts a new spin on sex appeal, it lacks plot and character development.

“Don Jon” is based around a character who sets his expectations for his sexual partners based on what he sees in porn. He expects women to perform and be as perfectly structured as those in the adult videos he watches online.

The main character is Jon Martello, a man straight out of New Jersey who looks like a greaser from “West Side Story.” He is dubbed Don Jon by his friends, who are impressed by his constant ability to sleep with women who are ranked an eight or higher on their 10 point system. But never satisfied with the women he sleeps with, Jon continues to turn to porn to satisfy his sexual desires.

Soon he tries to get with a “10,” but she makes him change before she will sleep with him. She suggests that Martello sign up for a night class, get a job and introduce her to his friends and family. Her expectations also include him giving up porn. She uses sex as a weapon, even though after they have sex, Martello is still sexually unsatisfied and turns back to porn when she’s not around.

His misogyny takes over the screen, but he learns from his actions. He learns that the expectations porn sets for him are unrealistic and unattainable. He learns to connect with women on a personal level without being asked for something in return. He learns how to have a successful relationship that is not based on an expectation he thinks women should be living up to.

As I continued to watch “Don Jon,” I was impressed by its ability to bring an original plot line to the big screen. Even though it’s an original idea, though, it isn’t worthy of any awards.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt wrote, directed and starred in this movie. He was something wonderful to look at and his acting was on point, but there were a lot of holes both within characters and within the plot that I would have liked to have seen filled.

For example, the audience never learns who Jon is, where he came from, how he lives in a nice apartment without having a job, as well as many other questions that remain unanswered. He doesn’t bring light to any sort of character development. At the beginning, it is all just laid out there who Don Jon is, but his back story and those of other characters are never mentioned.

Plot-wise, there were time lapses that were undifferentiated from the other aspects of the movie. Even though they weren’t confusing, it did take a moment to realize an entire month had passed in the plot line.

Overall, “Don Jon” was a good movie. I would definitely watch it again. I rank it a solid three and a half out of five stars. This movie could be used as a date night movie, but both people would have to be comfortable with the level of sexual content in the movie — it could be overwhelming for some. I would recommend that people rent this movie from Red Box once it’s released. It’s fast paced — only about an hour and a half — but I would recommend seeing it at least once.

Jakki Thompson is a junior in journalism and mass communications and American ethnic studies. Please send comments to edge@kstatecollegian.com.