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Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johanssen

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johanssen

“DON JON” My rating: B+ (Opening wide of Sept. 27)

90 minutes | MPAA rating: R

Former child actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt has displayed his grown-up chops in recent years in everything from big-budget sci-fi tent pole pictures to edgy indie fare.

His feature writing/directing debut, “Don Jon,” falls into the latter category if only because of the subject matter.  Basically, it’s a comedy about masturbation.

It’s raunchy.  Also very, very funny. And beneath the lewdness, “Don Jon” has something like a heart of gold.

Gordon-Levitt appears in just about every shot as Jon, a cocky Jersey Shore Guido with a formidable reputation with the women. He’s got the look made famous by MTV – ripped torso and a ‘do that’s borderline skinhead on the sides, while the hair on top is combed straight back and gelled into a tornado-proof finish.

You might view Jon as this generation’s Tony Manero (the John Travolta character in “Saturday Night Fever”) with one major exception:  Jon has access to the internet, which means he can watch porn any time he likes. Which is pretty much all the time.

As Jon explains early on in voiceover narration – and he’s just being honest here – while he loves doin’ the ladies, he’s never quite at ease in the sack. He’s too conscious of the need to please, too uptight about the stuff he doesn’t want to do (cunnilingus, which disgusts him) and too disappointed about the stuff many girls won’t do (fellatio).

Which is where porn comes in. Snuggled all warm and naked in front of his computer, Jon can get his rocks off to just about any sexual scenario he can think of, and he doesn’t have to cuddle afterward. This guy buys Kleenex in bulk.

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