TIFF 2013: Fading Gigolo Review

Fading Gigolo

Fading Gigolo

Special Presentation

Director: John Turturro

Turturro can have some fun with you behind the camera, and as cult actor worth rooting for in front of. Fading Gigolo, Turturro’s New York flavoured rom-com, wears its influences on its sleeve. Actually, it wears it in the film, as the wit snapping Woody Allen stands side-by-side with John as his pushy devil’s advocate (and pimp).

Fioravante (Turturro) lives from paycheque to paycheque, so it only took a certain amount of arm-twisting from a retiring long time nebbishy chum Murray (Allen) convinces the younger man to participate in a threesome with his doctor and her rich friend. From here, both rapidly grow to like this kind of income, and embrace their new relationship as pimp and gigolo. Things only get hot under the collar when Murray, who finds new clients wherever he can see them, finds a customer in a Hasidic widow, raising unwanted attention from her community.

With an incredibly fast and wry first act, Gigolo, as pushing it with the premise considering the two leads, manages to plant you in. But as the chucklers begin slow down and more focus is put on a chemistry-less romance between Turturro, who increasingly becomes more of a statue than a stallion, stumbles the film face first into the sidewalk. Some will enjoy or wretch at certain tastelessnesses (not like too many Hasidic Jews will be lining up to see it) but all won’t be able to stop their eye rolling as Turturro catches Woody’s backwards kind of hubris. (Zack Kotzer)

Screens

Sunday, September 15th, Scotiabank 1, 12:45pm

 


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Comments

  • Pingback: The Dork Shelf Guide to TIFF 2013 | Dork Shelf()

  • http://movieinfodb.com/en/people/4430/Sharon+Stone Sharon Stone

    John Turturro proofed that he can handle a light comedy as an actor as well as a director. It is easy to see how he got Woody Allen to appear in his film because the story could be by Woody Allen himself and the figure Allen plays sounds as familiar as it can be. Even the Jewish neighborhood fits very well.

    The movie starts out with no waste of time as a Woody Allen-style comedy without overdoing it. Allen coaxes Turturro, who works in a flower shop to become a hired lover for rich middle aged ladies. They share the money he gets and Allen spends it for the black! family he lives with. This partnership works out pretty fast and quite successful. But then the story does a sudden turn into deeper emotions when Allen connects him with the widow Avigal who is a devoted Jewess who after two years still mourns her dead husband…

    Although many scenes begin as a comedy some end on a very touching note. John Turturro knows when it is best to let the audience guess what will come next. Although a bit of a fairy tale story he never completely leaves the bounds of reality, especially in the end of the film. I left the theater with a smile.