These are familiar elements that enmesh to form an entertaining, “non-romantic” comedy. Start with the Casanova archetype. Take the Ryan Gosling character from Crazy, Stupid, Love, (don’t forget the extremely well-lit and quiet club!) Give him the parents from Silver Linings Playbook, but tone ’em down a touch. Move the setting of SLP across the Jersey Shore, so that everybody talks with funny accents.
We need a love interest, a dime piece, so that’s obvious casting. Another established actress from Crazy, Stupid, Love let’s put her in the mix. A sister that cannot stop texting. Now, we must include the “romantic movie within a romantic movie” concept with celebrity cameos done slightly better in Friends with Benefits.
But there’s one new(ish) concept that works quite well: that is the interplay with title character, Don Jon, and his lifetime obsession with pornography.
In spite of all of the familiarity, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has plenty of heart as an actor and a director. Don Jon is extremely addictive. We may not fall head over heels in love, but can definitely lose ourselves in it.