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“Fading Gigolo” – Review (SO-SO NEGATIVE)

May 18, 2014

Screen shot 2014-05-18 at 3.19.11 PMJohn Turturro makes his fifth directorial outing, first time collaboration with the famous Woody Allen, making a solo-non-directing acting debut in nearly 15 years. Turturro has certainly worked with many great filmmakers; the Coen brothers, Spike Lee, and Martin Scorsese, however as much as I enjoy his supporting performances, he never struck me as the leading man type, and personally this film continues to prove my point.

New York City florist, Fioravante (Turturro) is convinced by his oldest friend Murray that he should become a professional Don Juan because…why not? The money is good, and it’s literally the oldest profession around. Fioravante makes his wave across the burrows of NY, only to cross paths with the underbelly of the orthodox Jewish community, where honor, respect, and family is more important than sensual feeling.

Turturro’s quiet character is somewhat of a charm in the less is more approach, but a lot of the times it comes off as awkward and creepy. Woody Allen’s Murray is a downright scene stealer, why hasn’t Allen played a pimp before yet? Seriously, make a movie about Woody Allen playing a pimp, I already want to buy the ticket to that movie.

There are quite a few subplots going on throughout the film, the main one regarding the orthodox Jews of Brooklyn builds up with little exposition, and if you’re a person who’s vaguely familiar with that particular culture, you’ll find yourself lost in an instant. Mostly the whole cast is whittled down to a hollow shell of monotone blandness; from Sharon Stone to Liev Schreiber to Sofia Vergara.

I admire Turturro for not making this movie out to be a run of the mill Woody Allen-esq comedy, and at times it came very close to be like that, but he does have his own voice, sadly that voice isn’t as strong as Allen’s films. You’re left with a movie that ultimately ends where it begins, with not much of a resolution.

GRADE: C-

Aaron Shore, is a contributing blogger for the film sites of Hudak on Hollywood & Insta Reviews.

You can follow Aaron on Twitter @DoubleAAProd

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