Joseph Gordon-Levitt premiered his writer-director debut, now known as Don Jon (after previously going by Don Jon’s Addiction), earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was quickly picked up by Relativity for a handsome sum of $4 million; now the studio has settled on a fall release date, for Levitt’s satirical skewering of the modern “rom-com mentality” (and society’s attitudes towards proper gender roles in general).
Levitt stars as Joe Martello, a knuckle-dragging hunk from New Jersey who has the complete Jersey Shore-inspired sense of fashion and orange tan; though, Levitt has claimed he wasn’t directly influenced by that (in)famous reality television series. Costarring is Scarlett Johansson, who plays a different sort of caricature: a dyed-in-the-wool Jersey girl named Barbara Sugarman, whose belief that rom-com cliches are true to life affects the way she interacts with men – including the over-sexed, under-thinking, porn-obsessed Joe.
Here is how Levitt described the film, after it screened at the 2013 SXSW Festival (via Wired):
“I wanted to tell a story about how people objectify each other and how media often contributes to that, especially when it comes to love and sex. We learn a lot of expectations from movies, or TV shows, or commercials, or magazines, or pornography, and those expectations are unrealistic and maybe not so healthy. And if we’re busy comparing our own lives and our partners to those expectations, we’re doomed.”
Check out two new images and a production photo for Don Jon (via Moviefone):
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Don Jon will open in U.S. theaters on October 18th, 2013, where it will face off against the new cinematic take on Stephen King’s Carrie, the literature adaptation The Seventh Son, and Precious director Lee Daniels’ The Butler. Meanwhile, Relativity has scooted Luc Besson’s Malavita forward to September 20th, where it will take the spot just barely vacated by Insidious Chapter 2.
Early buzz for Levitt’s directing debut is quite positive, and the premise sounds like it could make for a darkly comical and biting examination of how men and women interact nowadays, which is encouraging. Besides, after his strong performances in such films as Brick, The Lookout, Stop-Loss and Hesher, Levitt has enough indie cred to justify trying his hand at making a good artsy flick (to mention nothing of his more mainstream work on 50/50, Dark Knight Rises, Looper, etc.).
Look for Don Jon in theaters on October 18th, 2013.