Film Review: Warm ‘Fading Gigolo’ Has Odd Romance, Woody Allen

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – How do you make a Woody Allen style film? You hire Woody Allen to act in it. Writer, director and lead actor John Turturro channels the soul of Allen’s films by creating a strange and romantic scenario with different types of relationships, including one with Woody himself in “Fading Gigolo.” Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Turturro plays the title character named Fioravante, who hatches a plan with Woody Allen’s character to become a gigolo. The unlikeliness of the situation lends to both the strengths and weaknesses of the movie, with a touch of winking at the camera. Turturro the writer and lead actor also (naturally) casts Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara as a couple of clients, but saves the oddest part of the story involving sect of Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn. Within all these loops is the pace and style of a Woody Allen romantic comedy, all the way to having the master himself bless the proceedings. It’s a middle age fantasy paired with an echo effect of “Annie Hall.”

Tough economic times forced the closure of a New York City bookstore run by Murray (Woody Allen). One of his best customers and friend is Fioravante (John Turturro), a part time florist who is also barely getting by. After considering some cash-making angles, the pair decide to provide gigolo services, with Murray acting as the representative for Fioravante.

The business takes off, aided by a mysterious Dr. Parker (Sharon Stone), who provides other clients for Fioravante, including a potential three-way tryst with Selima (Sofia Vergara). But one client begins to stand out over another, a Hasidic Jewish woman named Avigal (Vanessa Paradis), who has lost her husband, yet is not ready to marry inside the sect again. She begins to use the gigolo as a buffer, which irritates her potential Hasidic suitor, Dovi (Liev Schreiber), and involves Murray with some potential complications.

“Fading Gigolo” continued its limited release in Chicago on May 3rd. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring John Turturro, Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Sonia Vergara, Vanessa Paradis and Liev Schreiber. Written and directed by John Turturro. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Fading Gigolo”

Woody Allen, John Turturro
Murray (Woody Allen) and Fioravante (John Turturro) Hatch a Plan in ‘Fading Gigolo’
Photo credit: Millenium Entertainment

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Fading Gigolo”

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