Sunday, April 27, 2014

Fading Gigolo: Oy Vey!

First things first.
FG is not a Woody Allen movie. Although he is a star. John Turturro is the director, writer and co-star.

The movie is a testament to the power of excellent acting to transcend a plot that's lame, ridiculous and a times downright mean spirited.

Masquerading as a flick about what women want, it's actually the embodiment (pun intended) of a popular male fantasy: The menage a trois. And as if that weren't enough, the women involved are Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara!!!

But moving on.

The film takes us into a Hasidic Brooklyn neighborhood, where we meet a lonely widow. And here's where the movie takes a sharply wrong turn. Sure, the Hasids, with their strange get-ups and archaic customs, can appear comical. And some of their customs, especially attitudes toward women, can  seem cruel to modern folks. But the degree to which they are ridiculed and scorned in this movie defies a live-and-let-live philosophy that much of the movie seems to espouse. Light comedy this is not.

The wonderful New York scenes and engaging characters, including Liev Schreiber as a Hasidic neighborhood watchman in love with the lonely widow, don't make up for this narrow-minded portrayal of a group of people who live differently.

Or is the Movie Slut being too PC?

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