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Joseph Gordon-Levitt Offers Relationship Advice for ‘Don Jons’

Relativity pic screens in Gotham Sept. 12

The rain couldn’t dampen Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s New York screening of his writing and directorial debut “Don Jon” at SVA Theater on Sept. 12, but there was one important piece missing.

“I forgot it today!” exclaimed Gordon-Levitt at the Top of the Standard after party of his now synonymous red button for his collaborative creative company Hit RECord. “Tonight of all nights because tonight is the premiere of the first movie that bears the Hit RECord moniker, and I just walked out thinking about too many things and forgot my red button. Tell everyone that I’m embarrassed and I’m sorry.”

Button or no button, Relativity prexy Tucker Tooley said he was taken with the movie immediately and is proud of the film Gordon-Levitt has accomplished.

“It’s incredibly entertaining and I think there’s a really important message under the hood. It’s really unique,” he said.

“It’s a movie sort of about mainstream culture and I believe that saying ‘the medium is the message.’ So I feel like this movie has a different impact in the form of a mainstream movie at a multiplex than it would being presented as a more niche movie,” Gordon-Levitt said.

He continued, “I don’t think any particular form [of media] is inherently good or bad. I think it depends on how you use it. There are movies that are beautiful, healthy, communicative works of art and there are movies that are less healthy sort of traps and you could say the same for any form whether it’s videos on the Internet or television shows or music videos or commercial. That’s really why I wanted to have pornography (in the movie) to compare our larger media to that. I think the comparison first of all is really funny, but effective. I hope it makes a point.”

Gordon-Levitt also offered relationship advice to other Don Jons. “If you’re not present, if you’re not paying attention to the person right in front of you, but instead you’re comparing them to these expectations — then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment,” he said. “Because the truth is, real life is so much more rich than any two dimensional image, but you’ll miss all that nuance if you’re busy comparing your life to these fantasies and wishing it was something and trying to get it to be that, rather than approaching with wonder for what it is.”
Tooley, however, admitted, “I’m the last person to ask about mistakes in relationships, but I think the key is always communication and honesty. And if you’re not vigilant about trying to practice those, it’s tough,” he said. “Connection is so hard these days with the Internet, with your PDA, and whatever else is going on. There’s so many things pulling your attention that you have to really carve out the time to connect with somebody.”

Tony Danza, who plays Gordon-Levitt’s dad reminisced about a simpler time.

“When I was a kid, if you wanted pornography, you either had to raid your uncle’s stash of Playboys, or go to the store and buy a magazine,” Danza said.  “You had to pick it up, walk up to the counter to a guy that probably knew you from the neighborhood, your neighbor lady walking by as you’re standing there – it’s a tremendous governor on behavior. Now it’s easily available to the youngest kids.”

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