FADING GIGOLO – Rated R

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FADING GIGOLO – Rated R

Joe Turturro writes, directs and stars this time around – living out what can only be assumed as his “ultimate dream” in his later years – playing a male prostitute – with his latest film FADING GIGOLO.

We meet Murray (Woody Allen), the owner of a book store that is closing its doors after many years.  Since Murray has numerous children and a wife to feed, he needs to come up with another way to make some quick cash.  While visiting his favorite Dermatologist, Dr. Parker (Sharon Stone), Murray is blindsided when Dr. Parker enquires to see if he has any male friends that can “help her out”, as she is interested in participating in a ménage a’ trios with a girlfriend of hers, and they need an experienced man to participate.

Murray comes up with the scheme of putting his friend, the suave and debonair,  Fioravante (Joe Turturro) to work in “the oldest profession known to man”, as he too is in need of some cash to keep his life afloat.  Resisting the concept at first, Fioravante decides that maybe he is willing to embark down this path, since the sum is a mere $1000 a tryst.

Fioravante is introduced to a young Jewish widow friend of Murrays, Avigal (Vanessa Paradis), who is intrigued and nervous to have Fioravante perform “massage” on her, as now he is also a professional “massage therapist”.  Being taken back by Fioravante’s touch – and I just mean literally massaging her back – as it has been many years since she has felt the touch of a man – Fioravante stops there, to not offend the young Jewish widow.

Murray keeps lining up clients for his friend, including return trips to Dr. Parker’s residence, when she decides it is time for them to move to the next level.  She contacts her friend Selima (Sofia Vegara), as she two must check out Dr. Parker’s “rare find in a man” that can fulfill your every need, and have her way with him!!

Will Dr. Parker and Selima finally live out their ultimate fantasy – a ménage a’ trios?  Will Murray continue to make money off of his best friend’s “way with women”? Or will Fioravante fall for the young widow Avigal, and fall madly and passionately for her – eliminating his new found cash flow?

I give FADING GIGOLO a B- :  I have to admit that as I was heading to the Tivoli to view the advanced screening of this film, I was thinking this concept of an older man being a Gigolo, and his best friend being his “Pimp” was going to be less than amusing….but to my surprise, this film was very entertaining and so was the story line.  Woody playing a less neurotic character than usual really played out well – even though a lot of his life must have been written reflective of his real life, as you will come to find from his “family dynamic” – and Turturro is actually a very attractive man that may snag beautiful women like Stone and Vigara in real life, so it totally worked!  I also enjoyed the storyline with Turturro falling for the young widow, played by Paradis and then the twist of another man (Liev Schreiber) pining away for her too…..this film keeps you always wanting more. 

You will be laughing throughout the entire film as well…..which always makes a film better to me! So regardless of how old you are –  as long as you are over 17 – you will want to head out this weekend to take in FADING GIGOLO – it’s a “good time” had by all!

Kathy Kaiser