Maybe the cleverness of Don Jon is not in the film itself?
It’s not as bad as some say, unfortunately it’s also not as good as some reviews say and many of us would have liked to have hoped for. If you have to watch a film by an actor turned director/Writer and casting himself in the lead role, I’d suggest Buffalo ’66, which on some levels may be a bit more simplistic, and on many levels, Joseph Gordon-Levitt may appear somewhat more likeable than Vincent Gallo, although probably not as Don Jon. But if I had to choose one of these two to watch again, I know which I’d watch and which I wouldn’t even if I didn’t really have a choice.
That said, don Jon isn’t complete waste of time and has it’s moments. Great cast, including Scarlett Johansson, who does an ok job, and so do the rest, Julianne Moore and Tony Danza maybe try to steal the show a little bit, and the caricaturistic or stereotypical nature of many of the characters is slightly annoying. The script appears to be written by the book with a decent structure and plot points and all; a few twists etc., but nothing amazing. Apart from being the first feature written and directed by a young guy who’s at least a decent actor and pretty good at a lot of things he does…
If you want to pick a Joseph Gordon-Levitt film, go for Looper, or better yet, 50/50, maybe even (500) Days of Summer. If it’s Scarlett Johansson you’re after, Lost in Translation is an obvious choice but there’s a few others to try before this one… For Julianne Moore, I’m not sure there’s much point trying to list all the films here that are better than this, but I liked The Kids Are All Right a lot.