Fading Gigalo

WRITTEN BY: John Turturro
DIRECTED BY: John Turturro
STARRING: John Turturro, Woody Allen, Vanessa Paradis, Sharon Stone, Liev Schreiber, Sofia Vergara
RATING:  2.5 stars
Part comedy, part drama and part romance, Fading Gigalo is a little all over the place. New York book store owner Murray Schwartz (Woody Allen) is closing down his shop and convinces his florist friend Fioravante (John Turturro) that he would make a good gigalo because he is a sensitive guy who knows what women need. Murray offers to be his manager/pimp by finding suitable clients, beginning with his own dermatologist Dr Parker (Sharon Stone) who wants to have a threesome with her friend Selima (Sofia Vergara). Another potential client is Avigal (Vanessa Paradis) who is a widowed Jewish woman carefully watched by Davi (Liev Schreiber) from the neighbourhood patrol.
I was surprised to learn Allen was going to act in a film he had not written or directed, but Turturro is a friend of his and it seems his film is almost like an homage to Allen. It has a similar style of music and cinematography, although it is not as witty or engaging. In fact, some of the "Jewishness" is a little in your face and could alienate some viewers. I also had an issue with believing that women like Stone and Vergara would need a gigalo to fulfil their desires, and particularly one who does not match their own amazing level of attractiveness (sorry Turturro). Nonetheless, the film has a decent moral to the story and is thankfully not a gratuitous look at the life of a gigalo.