TIFF 2013: Fading Gigolo Review

Fading Gigolo

Fading Gigolo

Special Presentation

Director: John Turturro

Turturro can have some fun with you behind the camera, and as cult actor worth rooting for in front of. Fading Gigolo, Turturro’s New York flavoured rom-com, wears its influences on its sleeve. Actually, it wears it in the film, as the wit snapping Woody Allen stands side-by-side with John as his pushy devil’s advocate (and pimp).

Fioravante (Turturro) lives from paycheque to paycheque, so it only took a certain amount of arm-twisting from a retiring long time nebbishy chum Murray (Allen) convinces the younger man to participate in a threesome with his doctor and her rich friend. From here, both rapidly grow to like this kind of income, and embrace their new relationship as pimp and gigolo. Things only get hot under the collar when Murray, who finds new clients wherever he can see them, finds a customer in a Hasidic widow, raising unwanted attention from her community.

With an incredibly fast and wry first act, Gigolo, as pushing it with the premise considering the two leads, manages to plant you in. But as the chucklers begin slow down and more focus is put on a chemistry-less romance between Turturro, who increasingly becomes more of a statue than a stallion, stumbles the film face first into the sidewalk. Some will enjoy or wretch at certain tastelessnesses (not like too many Hasidic Jews will be lining up to see it) but all won’t be able to stop their eye rolling as Turturro catches Woody’s backwards kind of hubris. (Zack Kotzer)


Sunday, September 15th, Scotiabank 1, 12:45pm


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