Fading Gigolo is a 2013 American comedy film directed, written by, and starring John Turturro. The film, co-starring Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara, Vanessa Paradis, and Liev Schreiber, premiered in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. It was given a limited release on April 18, 2014, and received mixed reviews.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Turturro|
|Produced by||Bill Block
|Written by||John Turturro|
|Music by||Abraham Laboriel
|Edited by||Simona Paggi|
|Distributed by||Millennium Entertainment|
Dr. Parker (Sharon Stone), a wealthy dermatologist, mentions to her patient Murray (Woody Allen) that she and a woman friend, Selima, wish to experience a ménage à trois and asks if he knows a willing man. Murray, whose used bookstore has failed, convinces his friend and former employee Fioravante (John Turturro) to take the gig, as both are short of money. Soon, they build a thriving gigolo trade with Murray as the pimp. Murray lives with Othella (Tonya Pinkins) and her children, one of whom gets head lice. Murray takes the boy to Avigal, the attractive widow of a Hassidic rabbi, for treatment.
Murray tells her Fioravante is a massage healer who can help her and takes her to see him. Being too religiously observant to even shake hands with him, she nonetheless allows Fioravante to massage her back and that touch, the first in two years, since the passing of her husband, brings her to tears. Meanwhile, Dovi (Liev Schreiber), who works for Shomrim, a Williamsburg, Brooklyn neighborhood patrol, becomes suspicious and follows Murray. Dovi is in love with Avigal, but she does not encourage him. Fioravante and Avigal meet several more times, culminating in a kiss in the park.
Fioravante is summoned to the long planned ménage, but is unable to finish. The two women cheerfully realize the truth—he has fallen in love. Murray is kidnapped by a group of Hassids, taken to a Rabbinic Court, and interrogated. Avigal interrupts the court and confesses to violating the laws of modesty, but nothing more, explaining she was lonely. Avigal now accepts Dovi, but has him drive her to Fioravante to say good bye. Fioravante tells Murray he is leaving, but reconsiders after an encounter with a beautiful woman.
- John Turturro as Fioravante
- Woody Allen as Murray Schwartz
- Sharon Stone as Dr. Parker
- Sofía Vergara as Selima
- Vanessa Paradis as Avigal
- Liev Schreiber as Dovi
- Tonya Pinkins as Othella
- Max Casella as Guy at counter
- Aida Turturro as Driver's wife
- Bob Balaban as Sol
- Michael Badalucco as Burly driver
- David Margulies as Chief Rebbe
- Aurélie Claudel as Tai Chi woman
- Loan Chabanol as Loan
Fading Gigolo screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2013. It received a limited release in the United States on April 18, 2014.
Fading Gigolo received mixed reviews. On film aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 54% rating, with an average score of 5.9/10, based on reviews from 125 critics. The site's consensus states: "Admittedly vulgar and ludicrous, Fading Gigolo gets a surprising amount of mileage out of the entertaining chemistry between its starring duo". On another website, Metacritic, it has a 58/100 score (indicating "mixed or average"), based on reviews from 38 critics.
Geoffrey Macnab of The Independent gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, noting that "Turturro's trick is to take stereotypical characters and to portray them in an offbeat and surprising way." Peter Debruge of Variety gave it a favorable review. "It certainly benefits from having Allen aboard, though only Turturro would fight to bring such a warm and disarming experiment to the screen", he said. Catherine Shoard of The Guardian praised Woody Allen's performance, stating that "Turturro has given Allen his biggest and best on-screen turn in years". Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice called the film "a breeze, enjoyable both for its sweetness and its unapologetic silliness".
- Fleming, Mike (September 9, 2013). "Toronto: 'Fading Gigolo' Sells For $3 Million To Millennium Entertainment". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
- "FADING GIGOLO (15)". British Board of Film Classification. March 19, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
- "Fading Gigolo". TIFF. Archived from the original on August 16, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
- Debruge, Peter (September 12, 2013). "Toronto Film Review: 'Fading Gigolo'". Variety.
- McDaniel, Matt (January 8, 2014). "Sharon Stone Cozies Up With Sofia Vergara in 'Fading Gigolo' Trailer Premiere". Yahoo!. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- "Fading Gigolo (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
- "Fading Gigolo". Metacritic. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
- Macnab, Geoffrey (May 22, 2014). "Fading Gigolo, film review: John Turturro directs New York story in sweet and jazzy key". The Independent.
- Shoard, Catherine (September 9, 2013). "Fading Gigolo: Toronto 2013 - first look review". The Guardian.
- Zacharek, Stephanie (April 16, 2014). "Fading Gigolo: John Turturro and Woody Allen Charm in a Brooklyn Sex Comedy". The Village Voice.