Saturday, December 02, 2006

[1980] AMERICAN GIGOLO: I LOLed quite a bit during this and I don't think I was supposed to--some of the dialogue between Richard Gere's cynical yet vulnerable hooker and Lauren Hutton's depressed society wife was stuff human beings would not say--even human beings in a revisionist noir, and Hutton frequently looks just confused as to what she's supposed to be doing, or feeling. Once their romance gets going both of them become more grounded and likable, though; theirs is the only fairly normal, healthy relationship in the movie. And they even get a semi-happy ending. But there's so many ridiculous scenes in this thing, like Gere suddenly becoming a tough guy and writing his number on some poor schlub's forehead (in front of a poster of The Warriors with a big X through it--I didn't get that at all,) or him holding Bill Duke by his feet out a window and there being an audible pop when he slips out of his boots and falls to his death, or when Gere inexplicably recreates Gene Hackman's apartment-destroying scene from The Conversation in search of some stolen swag. It's an odd, unsuccessful thing, this movie; I get the idea that Schrader wanted to do an experiment where he'd have the noir hero also be the hooker and the femme fatale character have all the stoic, heroic virtues, plus the sexual obsessions, and I'm glad he did the experiment but the results are a mess.

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