' Gigolo' has charm, but not so lasting
John Turturro writes, directs and stars in “Fading Gigolo,” a slight, minor comedy that feels like something Woody Allen might have come up with on a lazy afternoon. There is a New York setting, jazz on the soundtrack and even Allen himself, playing a bookstore-owner-turned-pimp.
Turturro is Fioravante, a low-key florist who is short of money. Pal Murray (Allen) learns his female doctor and a friend are curious about having a ménage à trois, so he pushes moon-eyed Fioravante for the gig. Murray also decides that being a pimp requires a new moniker, so he toys around with such names as Johnny Barracuda and Spanish Jack.
Fioravante is a quick hit, with his quiet, soulful routine clicking with customers. That's one of the movie's big stumbling blocks. Fioravante doesn't seem particularly deep or romantic, just introverted and sluggish.
Things get marginally more interesting when the gigolo meets Avigal (French pop star Vanessa Paradis), a Hasidic rabbi's lonely widow. Paradis acts with a lovely vulnerability, and the movie starts to flirt with actual feelings and genuine emotions. But it's just a blip, as Murray winds up kidnapped by a group of angry Hasids (don't ask) and things kick into high shtick.
Because the film is unable to settle on a tone, it's hard to get invested in much of anything. Believability is never really a factor; after all; it's the kind of movie in which women played by Sofia Vergara and Sharon Stone pay a grand each to sleep with a florist who looks like John Turturro.
Randy Cordova writes for the Arizona Republic.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.