Fading Gigolo – Movie Review
Fading Gigolo – R
Release Date: Wed 09 Apr 2014
The trailer for Fading Gigolo frames the film as a zany sex comedy with Woody Allen acting as a pimp to a reluctant John Turturro as the titular gigolo. While this premise is explored in the film and is the source of much of the comedy, there is a deeper story here about the importance of human connection, physical contact and emotional intimacy. Yes, the whole thing begins with Murray (Allen) promising his dermatologist (Sharon Stone) that he knows just the guy to perform in a menage a trois with her girlfriend (Sofia Vergara.) But the real story begins when Murray suggests to his friend Avigal (Vanessa Paradis) that she get a “massage” from Turturo’s character – who now goes under the pseudonym Fioravante.
Avigal is a widow and lives in a very strict Jewish community. Fioravante is kind to her but their entire relationship is against the rules. They don’t jump into bed – but they spend time alone together. He touches her and talks with her. She cries and we realize how lonely her life is. Dovi, a community policeman is jealous of Avigal’s relationship because he loves her. But he does so according to the rules, meaning from afar and indirectly.
There are people who will see this as a zero net movie where nothing big changes between the beginning and ending, but to this reviewer, John Turturro has written and directed a thoughtful look at the loneliness of living single late in life and gets the most out of three small but great performances from Woody Allen, Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara. Those looking for a raunchy sex comedy will be disappointed, but as an independent art film with some charm and humor its a success.
Hannah and I saw it in the theater had a discussion in the car: