Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Gotta Admit, I Liked Fading Gigolo

I love being surprised by movies!
I went into John Turturro's Fading Gigolo with not an ounce of hope that it could actually maybe possibly be... GOOD. When he came out with Romance & Cigarettes back in 2005, I admit, I was excited. But then that movie just turned out to feel like a massive heap of rubbish. So why should I have had any positive expectations for Fading Gigolo?

Well because... John Turturro! And Woody Allen! And...
That's why... I was really wrong to doubt their tastes so greatly. It's not that this was a perfect movie, but it was lightyears and lightyears better than the nightmare I was expecting. And it had STYLE.
Fading Gigolo lived and died by its soundtrack. It was Jazz. And the visuals frequently supported just that sentiment. Of course then there was the subplot of Hasidim. That was kind of weird and almost pulled me out, but eventually became an intricate part of what made me so thoroughly enjoy the film.

Now I feel a little ashamed that I had such low expectations in the first place. Granted the reviews were more or less negative, so I have that "excuse." But I've always liked John Turturro's insane personality as an actor. And whenever I've seen him in interviews he always had such a bizarre way of looking at the world. Of course his earlier Romance & Cigarettes was a mess. He was after all just barely getting into directing and probably didn't quite know how to bring his vision to screen. I really think he's grown by leaps and bounds over the last nine years.
I love seeing these two guys on screen and it's fun to see Woody Allen play in someone else's world from time to time. Liev Schreiber did absolute justice to his role as usual. But this movie became a sort of jungle gym for all of the women in it. Vanessa Paradis was exceptional as a woman finally coming back out from hiding. Her growth made the entire film worthwhile. Then there's Sharon Stone  actually proving that she can still be fun to watch on screen. And need I say, SofĂ­a Vergara... va va voom!
What more can I tell you. Fading Gigolo did it for me. It was a pretty entertaining way to spend an hour and a half. And I thoroughly recommend it to... well... any guy I know because I think we all wish we could add a couple of those skills to our list. Am I right? Am I righ-- What? You say you're already that smooth with the ladies? Well... okay. It was good... um... talking to you. Later.

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