Joseph Gordon-Levitt has come a long way since being a child star.
The onetime star of Third Rock from the Sun has turned into a leading man in Hollywood, and now is set to make his debut as a writer/director as well. Gordon-Levitt directed the independent comedy Don Jon, which has earned acclaim after debuting at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
The movie focuses on a young man obsessed with his physical appearance and his addiction to pornography. He has many relationships but is objectifying to women, until he meets Barbara, played by Scarlett Johansson.
Barbara is quite a match for Jon. She is aggressive, strong-willed, and loves romantic comedies.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt thought the combination of the two characters made for a good on-screen formula.
“I thought the idea of a guy, who watches too much pornography, and a young woman, who watches too many romantic Hollywood movies, was a hilarious way to ask the question: How do the different kinds of media we consume impact our lives and our love lives?” Gordon-Levitt told the Huffington Post in March.
He added that Don Jon turned out nothing like a typical romantic movie.
“The reason I think the movie works is because we manage to find a really great tone that balances an unusually bold honesty with a really fun and entertaining comedy. That is a tone that you won’t really to be able to see that on the page,’ he said.
A trailer for the movie premiered at last nights MTV Video Music Awards, a 33-second spot that showed Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) kissing Johansson’s character Barbara while she tries to set the boundaries of their relationship.
“I want to meet your friends,” she tells him seductively. “I want to meet your family.”
The movie, which also features Julianne Moore and Tony Danza, will be released September 27.
For Joseph Gordon-Levitt it’s already been a success. Entertainment Weekly managing editor Jess Cagle said the film was one of the best at Sundance, and establishes Gordon-Levitt as “one of Hollywood’s most exciting new directors.”