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The importance of the director and writer’s vision should never be understated, and Fading Gigolo squarely exemplifies that. Had Woody Allen pimped John Turturro’s middle-aged male prostitute in a film by some other filmmaker, regardless of that person’s talent, it could have been a disaster. (I even worry about where Allen would have taken this material.) But because this story is all being filtered through writer-director Turturro’s witty (and apparently horny) brain, there’s an inherent maturity strewn throughout the film’s first trailer, as seen above.
I have to admit it’s a huge relief knowing that we probably won’t have to worry about seeing men in their 50s and 70s go on about loose bowels or other geriatric ailments. Though I fully expect to hear a few jokes about Viagra and the trouble with maintaining erection--this is a movie about sex after all.
The film, which will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, centers on friends Fioravante (Turturro) and Murray (Allen), who decide to make some quick cash by offering up Fioravante’s sexual prowess to women willing to drop some major dough for his services. Two of those women include Selima (Sofia Vergara) and Murray’s dermatologist Dr. Parker (Sharon Stone), both of whom eventually become intrigued by the idea of having a threesome with the still vigorous Fioravante. Somewhere along the way, the Jewish community gets wind of what the duo are doing and make their disapproval known. Also, Turturro finds time to fall in love with Avigail (Vanessa Paradis). Liev Schreiber also stars, although I didn’t even notice him in the trailer.
This film has two big things going for it, depending on where your tastes lie. For one, it’s the first time Allen has starred in a film he didn’t write or direct since 2000’s Picking Up the Pieces. Second, it features Stone and Vergara in bed together; even though this image would have probably turned more heads ten to fifteen years ago, there’s still some appeal there-- especially if Vergara’s character brings out the strap-on that she talks about. Man it just got hot up in this article.
The lingering effects of Allen’s Whatever Works kept fooling me into thinking Larry David was also in this movie somewhere, switching places with Allen every other scene. This is especially true when Allen decides his pimp name will be Dan Bungle, and when he talks about waitresses pooling tips.
I had serious doubts about Fading Gigolo after first reading about it, which seems silly since both of these guys are supremely talented, and I’m glad to find real humor and subdued situational comedy on display here. And power to Turturro for being able to pull off a "gulp" gag with style.
There’s no release date set yet for Fading Gigolo, but it could do the sideways tango into theaters at some point this year. Check out the film’s first poster below.