Review – Fading Gigolo

Poster for 2014 comedy Fading Gigolo

Genre: Comedy
Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 23rd May 2014
Runtime: 90 minutes
Director: John Turturro
Writer: John Turturro
Starring: John Turturro, Woody Allen, Vanessa Paradis, Liev Schreiber, Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara
Synopsis: A man and his cash-strapped friend decide to start a gigolo business, but soon find themselves in the midst of a complicated religious situation.

 

 

There’s an increasing trend in Hollywood of big stars essentially being given their own pet projects. It’s no longer uncommon to see the same name credited as star, director, writer, producer, cinematographer, focus puller, make-up artist and head of catering.

Following Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s parade of narcissism in Don Jon last year, Barton Fink star John Turturro gets his turn in the poor romantic comedy Fading Gigolo.

Fioravante (Turturro) is convinced to turn to the escort business by his cash-strapped friend Murray (Woody Allen), who has been forced to close his bookstore. Murray convinces Fioravante to take part in a threesome with two of his lesbian friends (Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara), but finds the business stalling when Fioravante finds a spark with Jewish widow Avigal (Vanessa Paradis).

| "It’s like candy, having sex with you."

The grey pound is big money nowadays, from surprise success The Bext Exotic Marigold Hotel to recent romp The Love Punch. Unfortunately, Fading Gigolo’s only real appeal to that audience is a nice, dark, warm room to sleep in. It’s a yawnfest that basically acts as one long journey into the ego of John Turturro, who casts himself as a hugely coveted gigolo.

Turturro himself is a truly dull central performer. His script is remarkably weak, giving the rest of the cast very little substantial meat to chew on. This leaves every single character feeling one-dimensional, under-written and utterly bland. In fact, Fading Gigolo only comes to life briefly when Woody Allen appears on screen, bringing with him his loveable charm and all of the best lines.

Fading Gigolo suffers from never gaining any real momentum. It ambles along from inert scene to inert scene via a whole host of other completely inter scenes. This is a film that lacks passion, lacks imagination and lacks just about everything else that’s interesting.

| "So this is what you do? Bring magic to the lonely.”

Aside from a lively Woody Allen performance, Fading Gigolo is a total waste of time. It’s nothing more than a vanity project for a star without the clout to get away with it.

 

Pop or Poop?

Rating: Poop!

There’s very little to recommend in Fading Gigolo, which is a romantic comedy that forgets to be romantic or funny at all.

John Turturro has crafted a film as boring as his screen presence. Moments that should be poignant feel forced and moments that are clearly written to be funny fail to raise even a giggle.

The only thing fading is the audience’s will to live.

 

Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.

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