Woody Allen in 'Fading Gigolo': Too Soon After Dylan Farrow Allegations?
Woody Allen stars in... Fading Gigolo. Yikes. Could there be a more unfortunate name or more unfortunate timing for John Turturro's new comedy? Allen -- who last appeared on screen in a movie that was not his own in 2000's Picking Up the Pieces -- plays, of all things, a financially-strapped bookseller-turned-pimp who helps his friend (played by Turturro) become a Don Juan for hire. The film also stars Sofia Vergara, Sharon Stone, and Liev Schreiber, among others, but the real draw here (or more likely, deterrent) is Allen. In the wake of the harrowing allegations made by Dylan Farrow of Allen's sexual abuse (he has since responded to maintain his maintain his innocence), it's hard to watch Allen play anything for laughs, let alone anything of a sexual nature. The Daily Beast cut to the chase: Woody Allen in Fading Gigolo is "creepy."
Today Vulture put up an exclusive scene put up an exclusive scene from the comedy in which Allen's character Murray is kidnapped by a group of Orthodox Jewish officers (lead by Schreiber) to answer some questions. Even if you're still a fan of Allen's in spite of what's unfolded or this brand of comedy is your kind of schtick, it's nearly impossible not to cringe at the 78-year-old bumbling through lines like, "I think you've got the wrong guy, I've already been circumcised" and "I have no idea what kind of crime I've committed." Now, of course Fading Gigolo has nothing to do with Allen's personal life, but will audiences be able to keep the two apart? Better yet, will they even want to? Should they? Who really wants to watch Allen, of all people, play a pimp? If we laugh at/with Allen, even if it's just a character, are we laughing off something that is deeply serious in the process? Or will audiences be able to just turn that part of their brain off for 90 minutes? Time will tell when Fading Gigolo opens in theaters on April 18, 2014.
You can watch the Fading Gigolo clip below and decide for yourself how you feel, though it's a pretty good chance the word that will pop into your head is uneasy: