Saturday, May 31, 2014

MINI-REVIEW: Fading Gigolo

Fading Gigolo

John Turturro, Woody Allen


April 18, 2014

John Turturro

Millennium Entertainment

1 hour 30 minutes



"Fading Gigolo" is a film that has a clever premise, a really talented ensemble cast, but isn't as great as it potentially could have been.  The premise of this movie is that of two older men taking the positions of a gigolo and a pimp to satisfy the sexual cravings of older women in New York.  My main problem with this movie is, well, it's not exactly as funny as I wanted it to be.  Judging from the trailers, I was expecting a romantic comedy, but that wasn't what was delivered to me.  Plus, there were two characters here who felt a little two overbearing for my liking.  One was Liev Schreiber's portrayal of a Hassidic Jew, and the other was Sharon Stone's portrayal of Turturro's first "customer."  Schreiber's character felt too formulaic for my liking and was played not as a man trying to protect another in his community's faith, but just a jealous man who wants to be with a woman.  As for Stone, I felt that her character shouldn't have been in the film as much as she was, and when she was in the movie after her first sexual encounter, it was as if she was trying to be overbearing and too needy, when really she could have just done the deed one time and then move on with her life.  Having said all of that, the positives that are in this film outweigh the negatives greatly.

For example, I loved the chemistry between John Turturro and Vanessa Paradis.  Everything about their romance together felt natural and real, unlike many romance films that have come out recently.  Plus, I admire Turturro for tackling the duties both in front of and behind the camera, and though his script wasn't that great, I admire the effort.  Also, Woody Allen and Sofia Vergara are both really solid here as Turturro's pimp and another one of Turturro's customers respectively.  "Fading Gigolo" could have been a great movie had it not focused on certain plot elements/characters and instead showed Turturro's ever-growing decline into either happiness or sadness as the Gigolo he becomes.  However, for the product that was given, I was still entertained by it.  It's not something I would go out and strongly recommend, but I did smile a few times, and I didn't regret going. If this movie comes your way in any form and you're curious about it, I'd say it's worth checking it out.  That is, unless something better is out there for you to see instead.


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