Based on a premise that might seem a little outlandish actor turned writer-director John Turturro has made a film full of wry charm and warmth in the Woody Allen mould. He also had the very good sense to cast Woody Allen as the lead!
The story about a flower seller becoming a gigolo, pimped by his best friend the former book seller (Woody Allen) is rather far fetched but no matter, as Turturro has decided to create an impressive and immersive love affair with his and Allen’s New York.
This is a small Jewish neighbourhood, with plenty of Jewish humour thrown is alongside age jokes too. Awkwardness is Allen’s trademark and here he fulfills all you’d hope him to be and more as he delivers the funny lines without overshadowing Turturro as they play out the odd couple to perfection.
Turturro himself plays the titular gigolo – a gently mystery of a man, who doesn't emote easily in this romantic sex comedy come drama.
Subplots involving the supporting cast of Vanessa Paradis and Liev Schreiber really add to the eccentric soup too – especially when the tangled romantic webs of Sharon Stone and Sofía Vergara in a ménage a trois are involved!
The excellent jazz score, the clever and funny oddball characters who find themselves in unconventional situations and the unpretentious cinematography really make this an effortless and enjoyable watch.