Saturday, 31 May 2014

Fading Gigolo [2013]

Fading Gigolo, the 5th directorial venture of actor John Turturro, is that rare film that Woody acted in but didn’t write or direct. One might, in fact, easily confuse it with a Woody film – it has unconventional take on love and sex, it has jokes on Jews, it managed to be bit of a love letter to New York, and, in line with Woody’s preferred genre, it is a humorous and idiosyncratic dramedy. Murray (Allen) is an ageing bookstore owner whose store has become antiquated as no one buys rare books anymore, and hence is forced to close shop, while Fiovorante (Turturro) is his long-time assistant and friend who’s forced to change job at middle-age. When his wealthy dermatologist (Sharon Stone, ravishing even at 55) expresses her intent to have a ménage à trois with her saucy girlfriend and a man he might know, Murray recommends Fiovorante’s name. And thus begins the bizarre alternate lives of the two where the former pimps the latter using hilarious monikers in order to cater to rich, bored and sexually demanding ladies looking for pleasure on the sly, and earn a quick buck in the process. Things turn really crazy when Fiovorante starts falling for his latest client Avigal (Vanessa Paradis), a shy, recently widowed Jewish lady, resulting in Murray earning the wrath of a devout Jewish cop (Liev Schreiber) who’s been in love with her for ages. Despite the outrageous nature of the plot, the film’s tone was mostly gentle, charming and whimsical throughout its length, with melancholia and laughs alternating one another. Woody was at his quintessential best, delivering satiric one-liners and witticisms only the way he can.

Director: John Turturro
Genre: Drama/Comedy/Romance/Buddy Film
Language: English/Hebrew
Country: US

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