Movie Review: Fading Gigolo

Cast: Woody Allen, John Turturro, Sharon Stone, Vanessa Paradis, Liev Schreiber, Sofia Vergara

Direction: John Turturro

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Story: When all else fails, what better way to make some money than to turn into the proverbial Don Juan? Accordingly, Fioravante (Turturro) turns into a ladies’ man, ably guided by Murray (Allen) who takes his cut from Murray’s earnings. But soon, there comes a time when love, lust and money all come to a head.

Review: Although Fading Gigolo looks every inch like a film Woody Allen could have directed, here, the directorial reins are taken by Turturro who is also in the lead role. Accordingly, Allen takes on the garb of a supporting role, with plenty of the kind of humour that you can expect from Woody Allen, as a counterpoint to Turturro’s somewhat more stoic Fioravante. The latter loves books and is a florist. He is, not surprisingly, also hard up on cash and has no long-term plan for life.

One fine day, Murray enters the scene with a somewhat indecent proposal that involves a threesome. Murray’s oversexed dermatologist Dr Parker (Stone) and her equally oversexed lover Selima (Vergara) could do with a male to spice up their amorous encounters. Murray thinks that Fioravante is the man suitable for the task at hand, who would be right up their alley. But is Fioravante up for the task?

This, and Murray playing the improbable pimp, provides for many comic situations that Allen fans will enjoy. But Cupid’s arrow might soon hit home when Murray hooks Fioravante up with Avigal (Paradis) who is a widow and seemingly immensely more interesting than Murray’s other paid encounters. The film then takes a slightly different course. It seems like the naughty pimp-gigolo plot gets second shift, with emotions emerging at the fore.

Fioravante and Avigal’s equation transcends sexuality and steps into more tender territory. The film has plenty of clever humour underscored by a jazzy score throughout. Vergara oozes sex while Sharon Stone is a veteran vixen. On the flip side, Gigolo is pure Woody Allen formula and provides the right amount of gags to keep this sex comedy afloat.
TOI*

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