Time Out says
Let’s get the breezy comedy stuff – on the surface of a far more interesting movie – out of the way: Woody Allen, in a rare acting role in someone else's movie, plays Murray, an impish bookstore owner facing economic end days. Improbably, he finds himself negotiating sexual encounters for desperate well-to-do women (including dermatologist Sharon Stone and feisty gal pal Sofía Vergara), after realising that his reticent florist friend, Fioravante (John Turturro, also the film's writer-director), is actually a quiet stud. If you’ve missed the fumbling Allen of the likes of ‘Broadway Danny Rose’, that guy is back.
But Turturro, writing and directing in a register light-years from his nebbishy acting turn in the Coen brothers’ ‘Barton Fink’, has a more sensual New York indie movie in mind. One client, the delicate Hasidic widow Avigal (Vanessa Paradis), has never been truly romanced, and she blooms in Fioravante’s gaze, while her neighbourhood patroller (Liev Schreiber, terrific in a tricky part) worries on her behalf, partly out of jealousy. This second, more hidden film is the keeper: the kind of keenly observed cultural clash that still finds room for dancing, a sultry fish-deboning (you just have to see it) and awakening.
Cast and crew
Users say (5)
Average User Rating
2.9 / 5
- 5 star:1
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:2
- 2 star:2
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Four stars?? seriously?? Is there some law against giving a film with woody allen in a bum review? Woody definitely provides the only real hook to this picture by being "somewhat amusing" but the whole thing is totally out to lunch! I generally enjoy what Turturro does but he's written a role of the worlds most sexy man and then just hopped into it???? Doesnt that strike anyone as slightly narcissistic?? The pair wander about like theyre in a lynx advert for the whole movie! To prove his irresistibility John even slays a staunchly orthodox jewish woman!! If I was a member of the hasidic community I'm sure I'd find this offensive.. I think these guys have been on the casting couch a bit too long and need to realise if they worked in a florist or a book shop they wouldnt get so much as a second glance from the mid thirties french starlet whos entirely powerless at the end of the film. I really thought Turturro would be able to write something REAL, sensitive and credible and went to see the picture based on this, I'll be more careful in future.
It could be coincidence, but there's a similarity to Woody's film story-telling style in this movie - I appreciate it was written/directed by John Turturro. Certainly, the basic gist of the plot is very good, and when I read a little about it a few weeks ago I was already chuckling, as I could imagine all sorts of scrapes and complications Woody Allen's character would get himself into. Unfortunately, the film didn't work out that way. Yes, it was laugh out loud in places to start with, but less so as the film went on.
A pleasant but lukewarm film.The storyline lacks any real sharpness and the plot wobbles in the second half.The male Gigolo actor is just too frozen and static to appeal.One or two good gags from Woody.It has a nice glow and warmth to it,but the writing needed sharpening up
One of Woody Allen's best films in which he acts really well and steals the show but there is also a superb performance from Vanessa Paradis. This film may not have enough substance to be one of the all time greats, but it is really enjoyable, has some very funny lines and a gentle humour that never flags and runs throughout the film. There are too few films as well made and entertaining as this so a big thumbs up.