One would not expect to describe a film about a male gigolo as charming or heart-warming but Faded Gigolo is both. John Turturro keeps the tone light, the setting realistic and the characters believable. Set in a New York rarely glimpsed on film, there are cramped, run-down apartments in a Jewish neighborhood that feel lived-in and contrast nicely with the light and art-filled lofts that the wealthy women occupy. A fairy tale of easy money that’s kept grounded with John Turturro’s performance as a “man’s man” but not a “pretty boy”. A charmer who can not only arrange flowers but also knows how to tango and speak a little french, his character would be catnip to many women; wealthy or otherwise!
The incongruity of Woody Allen playing a pimp gives the story some charm and humor. John Turturro wrote, directed and stars in the film. But the initial spark came from a surprising connection between Turturro and Allen: “I was just thinking about something for Woody and me, since we both share the same barber and he always kept telling me, ‘You guys should do something together,’” Turturro says. http://insidemovies.ew.com/2013/12/20/john-turturro-woody-allen-fading-gigolo-poster-premiere/
There are no graphic sex scenes, no dramatic revelations that don’t fit the plot and though there is a romance at the heart of the film, it’s not resolved in an expected way. There are some fabulous costumes worn by Sharon Stone and Sofia Vargas that make for great eye-candy and a gentle tone throughout the film that leaves you smiling and glad you’ve spent time with these characters.
Rating: 3 glasses of wine out of five
Does not pass the Bechdel Test