Title: Fading Gigolo

Director: John Turturro

Starring: John Turturro, Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara, Vanessa Paradis.

Woody Allen as a pimp and John Turturro as a gigolo, sounds like a comedy that can’t be missed…and so it is…

Murray (Woody Allen) is closing his rare book store, and Fioravante (John Turturro) is working occasionally at a flower shop. For some inexplicable reason, Murray’s dermatologist (Sharon Stone) tells him she is interested in having a ménage à trois with her girl friend (Sofia Vergara), and wonders if he knows anyone who would be interested. Murray says he does, and convinces Fioravante to take part. Rather quickly, Fioravante is in high demand with more than just one customer. But this first light-hearted comedic part gradually interknits with a more profound momentum that shows the budding romance between the professional Don Juan and the recently widowed client Avigal (Vanessa Paradis), who is part of a rigorous Orthodox Jewish community.

Beware, you have to take delight in a wicked sense of humour. This sharp-tongued, mischievous comedy plays with stereotypes, caricaturing the Hasidic society and portraying ludicrously the oldest profession in the world. But there is no offensive intention in all this mockery, since it’s a simple ploy to explore the theme of loneliness and the need for human connection.

Vanessa Paradis is delicate and melancholic in her performance, whilst Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara make a great comedic duo. John Turturro finally plays undertone and quietly, gaining an alluring, mysterious charm. His direction has a wonderful pace through his riveting shots; whereas his slapstick biting script (the credits attest Turturro wrote it), seems written by Woody Allen, whose performance aligns with his usual schtick (basically Woody Allen plays Woody Allen). ‘Fading Gigolo’ is drenched with that New York indie vibe, betwixt the decadent-cultural settings and the jazz score, that amplifies the Allenesque flavour which by and by creates a cute satyrical dramedy.

Technical: B

Acting: A

Story: B

Overall: B+

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Fading Gigolo Movie Review

By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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