Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"Fading Gigolo": Late in Life Career Changes 

Wednesday, Apr 30 2014

Written and directed by John Turturro, Fading Gigolo tells the story of struggling Brooklyn florist Fioravante (Turturro), whose best friend Murray (Woody Allen) convinces him to become a male prostitute — with Murray as his pimp, of course — starting with wealthy dermatologist Dr. Parker (Sharon Stone) and her pneumatic girlfriend Selima (Sofia Vergara), who hope to have a ménage à trois. (Being director has its perks, n'est-ce pas?) But Fioravante finds himself more drawn to Avigal (Vanessa Paradis), a deeply sheltered widow in an insular Chasidic community. It's easy to view this as Turturro's stab at a Woody Allen film, and while it does have an autumnal vibe reminiscent of Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters (it's also the first time Allen's acted in a New York film since 2002, curiously enough), the charming Fading Gigolo is more watchable than much of Allen's last dozen or so pictures. Unlike Allen, director Turturro not only seems to have bothered to rehearse his cast, but he actually uses filmic techniques like "editing" to fine-tune scenes and enhance their emotional impact. Indeed, though every shot of Vergara emphasizes her cleavage to the point of parody, she's never quite as alluring as the glammed-down Paradis in a modest striped sweater. That's a director who cares about what he's doing.

About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"