Joseph Gordon-Levitt shows some flair in his debut as a writer and director, "Don Jon," but his one big mistake is undercutting the likability of his star: Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
In this wheezing sex comedy, Gordon-Levitt plays Jon, called "The Don" by his buddies because of his skills picking up ladies. But even with his talent as a playa, Jon is more comfortable watching Internet porn.
Then he meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), a beauty who aims to mold Jon into a boyfriend which includes making him give up the online skanks, which is easier said than done.
The story also awkwardly introduces Esther (Julianne Moore), an older and wiser woman with her own philosophy of sexuality. Gordon-Levitt shows strong technical chops as a director, but his screenwriting wallows in awful stereotyping, such as when Jon and his dad (Tony Danza) sit at the Sunday dinner table in their wifebeater T-shirts yelling in Joisey accents.
Jon matures a bit by the end, and one senses that Gordon-Levitt will, too, in his next movie.
Opens Friday, Sept. 27, at area theaters; rated R for strong graphic sexual material and dialogue throughout, nudity, language and some drug use; 90 minutes.