John Turturro’s Fading Gigolo is the kind of movie that starts of with real punch and pizazz only to flag at the finish line. Woody Allen is of course as humorously endearing as ever as Murray. Leading Firovante, played by Turturro himself, down the garden path, he lures his long-time friend with the promise of easy money for 40 per cent of the cut.
There is a certain charming dynamic between Firovante and Murray. A sort of unconventional father-son type bond that is entertaining.
Stylistically, Fading Gigolo works on many levels. Gently comic and touching in places, Turturro uses music in a brilliant way to dress the theme of prostitution up in a sophisticated, romantic ambience.
However the film takes a slightly duller turn with the introduction of a love interest, Avigail (Vanessa Paradis). Playing the tentative widow, Paradis’ character, at first, offers an interesting vantage point amongst the adventurous trysts Firovante had previously been exploring. Unfortunately their romance proves rather bland despite the almost-love triangle aspect added.
Liev Schreiber plays hopelessly in love Dovi who’s stalker-ish persistent attempt to win Avigail’s affection is only of so-so interest.
Sharon Stone and Modern Family’s Sofía Vergara are excellent as the best friend/lovers whose attempts at a ménage à trois with the fading gigolo go flaccid.
All in all a pretty pointless and uninterestingly ambiguous end to a decent, amusing watch.