Picture a complicated, sex-themed character comedy set in the Jewish community. Now picture Woody Allen on set—if you weren’t already. Now picture John Turturro in the director’s chair. But don’t picture Woody Allen saying, “Hey, what are you doing in my chair?” Because although Fading Gigolo, a movie of the aforesaid description, is indeed in the making with Allen attached, he is not the director or the writer: he is the star. Picture that.
Fading Gigolo is a comedy written and directed by and starring John Turturro, a power player in the Coen Brothers films, the Happy Madison universe and all throughout the indie scene. Turturro’s script focuses on two aging male members of the Hassidic Jewish community who decide, in the interests of money and excitement, to go into the prostitution business. Allen plays the pimp and Turturro the gigolo whose customers include a dermatologist (Stone, who is also starring in another sexually charged film, Lovelace) and a bored housewife (Vergara), looking for a threesome. So, it might be safe to assume that Turturro has a hidden agenda in the making of this movie…he did, after all, pick the “Most Desirable Woman of 2012.” Maybe Turturro picked up the habit from director Michael Bay on production of Pain and Gain.
This will continue a pattern of Vergara starring in romantic roles opposite men several years her senior. Vergara is known best for her Modern Family role, Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, the second wife of Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neill). Her gig in this film beside Allen (who stands as one of the oldest Oscar winners to date) and Turturro could brand her with this characterization as a type. Fortunately, the fact that Turturro (who is an accomplished writer/director, despite being far better known for acting) wrote the film, and that it has Allen’s confidence, suggests that her role won’t be some one-dimensional trophy wife shtick you’d see elsewhere.
This will be Allen’s first time onscreen since his 2006 film Scoop, and his first time starring in another director’s movie since Alfonso Arau’s 2000 film Picking Up the Pieces. Both were iffy at best, but Allen revitalized his reputation with last year’s Midnight in Paris, so we’re looking forward to seeing him back in the game.