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Jan Wahl Movie Review: ‘Fading Gigolo’ & ‘The ‘M’ Word’

Entertainment Reporter Jan Wahl, Fridays at 8:53am & 4:53pm on KCBS All News 740AM | 106.9FM
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John Turturro in "Fading Gigolo" (credit: Millennium Entertainment)

John Turturro in “Fading Gigolo” (credit: Millennium Entertainment)

JanWahl20100909_KCBS_0564r Jan Wahl
Vancouver Magazine called her “San Francisco's sharp-witted so...
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You can hear KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl’s movie reviews on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM Fridays at 8:53am & 4:53pm.

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl reviews “Fading Gigolo,” the story of a florist (John Turturro, who also writes and directs) who takes up a life of prostitution to help his friend (Woody Allen). Also reviewed is “The ‘M’ Word,” a comedy from writer/director Henry Jaglom about menstruation and the workplace.

KCBS Entertainment Reporter Jan Wahl:

Jan Wahl Movie Review: Fading Gigolo & 'The 'M' Word

janwahl20100909 kcbs 0564r1 Jan Wahl Movie Review: Fading Gigolo & The M Word
KCBS Radio

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FADING GIGOLO (R) 90 min

This is one unconventional comedy written, directed and starring one of the best character actors around: John Turturro. We know how good he is from “Miller’s Crossing,” “Quiz Show,” Tim Robbins’ brilliant “Cradle Will Rock” and “O Brother Where Art Though”. This time, however, the movie is all his and he casts himself as the oddly sexy guy at the center.

This must be Turturro’s wishful thinking; his lovers include Sharon Stone and Sophia Vergara but it all works since his costar, Woody Allen, is very funny. Allen plays a financially challenged bookstore owner who comes up with an idea for his friend the florist.

The soulful Vanessa Paradis plays a Hasidic widow and Liev Shrieber neighborhood watchman. It’s not often we get a rom-com that just brings out the laughs and has a sweet subdued sexiness. It’s a good time and a good date movie.

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THE “M” WORD (R) 120 min

Writer/director Henry Jaglom has been making independent movies for a long time. Sometimes they work: “Eating” or “Festival in Cannes” and sometimes they are weirdly self indulgent, like this one. In “The M Word” he explores the parallels between the midlife-hormone upheaval and workplace-economic difficulty. A Los Angeles TV station is the setting.

This is a good idea for satire and comedy and everything works—except a crucial element: leading lady Tanna Frederick. She is unbelievable, obnoxious and we are told over and over how terrific she is. Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos”), Gregory Harrison and Francis Fisher all do their best but the film is listless and Frederick would have better behind the scenes or as character player rather than someone to build a movie around.

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Movies To See Right Now: Railway Man, The German Doctor & Draft Day

Home Viewing/DVD: Labor DayThe Book Thief, Frozen & The Wolf of Wall Street

Films featuring the late Bob Hoskins: Mermaids & Who Framed Roger Rabbit

 

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