*** out of ****
Fading Gigolo is essentially a Woody Allen film, except that it isn't directed by Woody Allen. John Turturro does the directing honors as well as being the star and writer of the film. Allen co-stars doing what he does best - throwing out witticisms.
The always scheming Murray (Allen) comes up with an idea to help his down-on-his-luck friend, Fioravante (Turturro), as well as himself to make some good money. Fioravante will become a professional Don Juan and Murray will act as his pimp. Things run smoothly until they become involved in the life of a widow (Vanessa Paradis) in the Hasidic Jewish community.
Like I said, Allen is in top comedic form, and Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara are fun to watch as Fioravante's wealthy clients, but they don't have as much screen time as I would have liked. Their characters could have been beefed up a bit.
The comedy of the movie, however, doesn't always mesh with the drama, but it is often funny, and the dramatic moments are often effective. Paradis delivers a terrific performance and the scene where Fioravante gives her character a simple massage is very touching. The premise of Finding Gigolo is silly, but its point that we all need that physical human contact gives it weight.