Movie Review Fading Gigolo : Woody Allen shines In An Indulgent Film

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Fading Gigolo Cover PicJohn Turturro writes, directs and acts in this bittersweet comical tale of loneliness. When Murray’s (Woody Allen) bookstore closes down and he finds himself in need of funds to support his family he approaches his friend Floravante (Turturro) with a proposition. Murray suggests that florist Floravante offer his charm and services to lonely and keen women in New York, for a fee. Murray serves as his manager and the duo establish a varied clientele, which includes rich and bored housewives (Sofia Vergara), rich and bitter professional women (Sharon Stone), widows etc.

The only really funny sequence in the film parodies the orthodox Jewish community and neighborhood of Brooklyn where Murray cajoles Avigal (Vanessa Paradis), the grieving widow of a rabbi, to engage in some healing therapy at the hands of Floravante. The delicate relationship rattles the lives of all three participants with varying impact as they find themselves torn between love, money and morality.

Woody Allen plays the bumbling New Yorker with practiced perfection but unlike his own incisive writing, Turturro’s dialogues lack distinctiveness. The supporting cast adds sparkle to an otherwise lackluster script that comes simply comes across as indulgent. The best chemistry is not between Turturro and the ladies, but between Allen and Turturro, perhaps the only reason to watch this.

Rating: **