When I first saw this film back in March at SXSW Film Festival, it was called DON JON'S ADDICTION, but the title of the film was shortened to DON JON primarily so people didn't think the lead character (played by first-time writer-director) Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a slave to some sort of narcotic. No, New Jersey-born-and-raised Don Jon's addiction is porn websites; in fact, he's a connoisseur of surfing for porn, and he's got a whole system down on finding the perfect scenes for build up and…bringing it home. And as funny as his system and way of living is, his addiction also causes him problems with holding down relationships.
DON JON is being promoted as a humorous look at the lead character's views on the wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am women he meets in clubs versus his new girlfriend's (played by a very funny Scarlett Johansson) own addiction to romantic comedies and the warped ideals they perpetrate. The film is actually a far more sophisticated piece of relationship deconstruction than the ads may lead you to believe, and being surprised is a good thing in this case. And I haven't even gotten into the influential character that Julianne Moore plays, or the great work done by Tony Danza, Glenne Headly and the largely silent Brie Larson as Don Jon's family. It's a smart, funny film that has a lot to say about the way men and women view each other in today's world of idealization benchmarks.
If you live in the Chicago area, you can an attend a far-in-advance screening (the film doesn't open until September 27) with a post-screening Q&A with writer-director-actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, returning to Chicago about a year after his fantastic appearance last year for LOOPER. The screening of DON JON will take place Thursday, August 22 at 7:30 pm at a theater in downtown Chicago (the exact location will only be given to the winners). Here's how to win seats…
To win, send me an email at DonJonChicago@aintitcoolmail.com (please note the new email address) with the subject line "Happy Ending" (exactly like that). In the body of the email, I need your full Name, whether or not you're bringing a Guest (each winner may bring ONE confirmed guest--if I think you gave your +1 to someone trolling for free tickets at the theater, you won't get in), and the answer to the following question: "What's your favorite Joseph Gordon-Levitt film, and why?" I need a film title and a detailed reason for your choice. Keep your responses BRIEF--no more than 75 words (no matter how tempted you are to go over the limit). Best answers (as judged by me) win, and you'll hear from me soon if you won, so check your email!
Although this is not an exclusive Ain't It Cool News event winners seats will be reserved until 30 minutes before showtime (meaning 7:00 pm). The venue is deliberately overbooked to guarantee a full house for our guest. If you can't arrive by 7:00 pm, don't enter this contest. If there's even the slightest chance you or your guest will have to back out of attending or arrive late if you do win, don't enter. If you have a job that might make you late or unable to attend, or an ill/pregnant relative, or a temperamental significant other, or a scratchy throat, do not enter. And the 24-hour-notice-to-cancel rule is done. If you win and don't show up, the Black List is your new best friend.
Good luck, everyone! And thanks to the Relativity Media for giving us this very cool screening and bringing Joseph Gordon-Levitt back to Chicago.