Fioravante (played by John Turturro) loves flowers – he’s enchanted by their delicacy and beauty. He loves to read too – some time ago his love of books lead him to his long-time job at the “Rare Books Store” in Brooklyn, New York. The owner is now closing down the bookstore and his son, Murray (by Woody Allen) is helping Fioravante pack up all the stock. One day, Murray visits his Dermatologist, Dr Parker (by Sharon Stone), and returns to the bookstore with a proposal – he tells Fioravante he wants him to get involved with Dr Parker in a ménage a trios with her partner Selima (by Sofia Vergara) which she will happily pay for. At first he is reluctant, but the extra money is a big drawcard, so Fioravante accepts … and so begins a very successful partnership between the gigolo (alias Virgil) and his manager (alias Don). All goes very well until Virgil meets a new client – striking and lonely Avigal (by Vanessa Paradis), then everything changes. A strict Orthodox Jew, by spending time with Virgil, Avigal breaks the laws of her religion and comes to the attention of her elders. Things start to get very difficult for everyone involved – Murray started this but should it finish? … should they all continue to break basic life rules just to go with their feelings ….?
The poignancy of this movie is far more endearing than its comedy. Like most Woody Allen movies, the scene is classic New York and it’s great, the audience can feel every sensation of the neighbourhood – almost smell and taste the wonderful culture. The comedy is off-beat and entertaining but the emotion and sensitivity in the story is much richer. As Virgil and Don, John Turturro and Woody Allen make a strong and authentic team. They create a successful business and balance well and Virgil is marvellous. He’s a seemingly superficial and straightforward person but is revealed to be a sensitive and deep thinking man. Sharon Stone is good here, she looks great, her style is fabulous and her character is marvellous; as is Selima – she’s really a caricature and well played by the voluptuous entertaining Sofia Vergara. I’m not quite sure of the reason for the presence of Murray’s family – admittedly they add an fresh dimension and an excuse to involve Avigal and her family in the story. As Avigal, Vanessa Paradis is breathtaking – she’s acutely beautiful here and her involvement is done well – she is marvellous. Overall it’s a good movie – very nice with some beautiful scenes and some entertaining comedy.
Made in 2013. Directed by John Turturro.