6.2/10
21,671
68 user 195 critic

Fading Gigolo (2013)

R | | Comedy | 9 April 2014 (France)
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Fioravante decides to become a professional Don Juan as a way of making money to help his cash-strapped friend, Murray. With Murray acting as his "manager", the duo quickly finds themselves caught up in the crosscurrents of love and money.

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Fioravante
... Murray
... Avigal
... Dovi
... Dr. Parker
... Selima
Abe Altman ... First Rabbi
... Burly Driver
... Sol
... Mimou
... Yossi
... Guy at Counter
... Loan
Isaiah Clifton ... Cyrus
Jade Dixon ... Cee Cee
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Storyline

Murray, the bankrupt owner of a bookstore, is forced to close his family business. His dermatologist, Dr. Parker, dreams of having a threesome and would pay a thousand dollars to have one with her friend Selima. Murray then proposes to his friend Fioravante that they start a male prostitution business, with Murray acting as the pimp. However, when Fioravante meets a Hasidic Jewish woman, Avigal, who is the widow of a rabbi, they fall in love with each other. But a Jewish neighborhood patrolman, Dovi, is in love with Avigal too, and might make life difficult for Fioravante and Murray. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The oldest profession just got older.

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site |  »

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Release Date:

9 April 2014 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Fading Gigolo  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$180,801, 20 April 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,763,973, 13 July 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shortly after the movie was shot, Sharon Stone and John Turturro worked on a play together. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Murray: My grandfather started the shop. My father had it. And now - I - have to - close it. This is the end of an era, my friend. Let me tell ya, now a days only rare people buy rare books.
Fioravante: We'll get back on our feet.
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Connections

References The Godfather (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Ammons
Written by Gene Ammons
Published by Second Floor Music, and
Concord Music Group, Inc. o/b/o Prestige Music
Performed by Gene Ammons
Courtesy of Original Jazz Classics
By arrangement with Concord Music Group
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User Reviews

 
Quirky and charming, though not all the way through.
10 June 2014 | by See all my reviews

Woody Allen isn't really an actor for hire. It's just not something he does: if he acts, he generally prefers to do so in films he also writes and directs, largely because - one suspects - he only feels comfortable playing parts that he knows are tailored to his particular strengths. So it's odd and potentially exciting that he agreed to take a rather key role in Fading Gigolo, a passion project for actor-turned-writer-and-director John Turturro. As it turns out, it's easy to see why Allen agreed to join the cast: when the film works, it can be as charmingly quirky, odd and romantic as Allen's own movies. Even when it doesn't work, the cheeky byplay between Allen and Turturro's characters remains a selling point.

The story goes like this: bookseller Murray (Allen) encounters hard times in the bookselling business, and hits upon the novel idea of playing the pimp to his unexpectedly charming friend Fioravante's (Turturro) gigolo. As the business takes off, Fioravante encounters women both adventurous and shy. But, even in the face of such voluptuous and voracious beauties as Dr. Parker (Sharon Stone) and her girlfriend Selima (Sofia Vergara), he's particularly intrigued by Avigal (an intriguing Vanessa Paradis), the buttoned-down widow of an orthodox rabbi who's barely surviving the extremely strict rules and regulations that accompany her husband's death.

There's a lot to enjoy and even love in Turturro's gentle, quaint film. He excels in injecting tenderness into scenes that are practically structured to be awkward, like Fioravante's first encounters with both Dr. Parker and Avigal. But both turn out to be strangely, sweetly tender, as he manages to tap into something primal within both women that they both sorely need. The gentlemanly respect with which Fioravante treats all the ladies brought to him by Murray help the film's slightly out-dated message - women need a man to help them break down the walls that surround their hearts - go down a lot easier.

But Fading Gigolo also veers into considerably less successful territory, chiefly by turning Fioravante and Avigal's relationship into an uncomfortable love triangle with Dovi (Liev Schreiber), an orthodox Jew who serves in the community police force in Avigal's neighbourhood and has loved her from afar for years. There are a couple of fun comedy beats in this romantic entanglement, particularly when Avigal remains determinedly unresponsive towards Dovi's advances. But Turturro's tale takes such an odd left turn at the end that it undermines a lot of Fioravante's own growth within the film, which comes about when he realises just how strong an emotional connection he's forged with Avigal.

Fortunately, the film benefits greatly from the spiky chemistry between Allen and Turturro - their characters spar and tease with words and glances, as Murray talks Fioravante into a business that really doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense. (It's readily acknowledged that neither of them is a natural fit for their respective roles as pimp and gigolo.) It's not quite enough to completely salvage Fading Gigolo, but the central friendship does survive the script's stranger and less truthful moments, and adds immeasurably to its charm.


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