What rescues this from being a total disaster is Woody Allen's touch, although this also should be exaggerated and is by no means a panacea for the many flaws in Turturro's film. Cinematographically, some elegant moments survive, yet others (Turturro with Sofia Vergara) embrace wholeheartedly kitsch and sexist imagery, regardless of the director's intentions. The Jewish subtext that haunts Allen is mere recycling.
Humane and oddly beguiling despite the most unlikely of material (both the central conceit and some of the situational realities of his 'clients'), this a warmly crafted film avoiding potential vulgarity and crassness. In his few films as director, Turturro has shown a good, understated eye for the human condition and the smaller moments in life opening up to something bigger.
Some people might call this a tribute to Woody. Wrong! it is a pathetic imitation of Woody with no style or subtlety. The concept of the least charismatic actor in film history as a gigolo is farcical -the only remotely funny thing in the film, in fact- and is his own pathetic fantasy and misplaced "modesty".
beautifully shot directorial turn from Tutturo - who weirdly cast himself as a incredible lover, cook and flower arranger to act opposite some of the most attractive actresses around - but he totally pulls it off and if you forgive this indulgence its very enjoyable. and woody is also clearly enjoying himself in his first pimp role.
The pimp/gigolo shtick is really just that, a shtick to lure viewers into what is actually, at its heart, a sensitive drama. The cast is great, and Woody is better in this than in his own (recent) films. And this isn't really a comedy, its a quirky thing about love, but not really a love story either. Straight to internet, no theatrical release, but Turturro deserves more credit for this, it has charm.
Sensitive Jewish subplot seems at odds with main theme of male prostitution; nonetheless, film is well acted, beautifully shot, charming & bittersweet. Allen & Turturro have a great rapport together and if the film occasionally feels like the pilot to an unaired TV series, it's no bad thing; these are characters with room to grow. On a side note, Allen should go back to appearing in his own movies; he's still got it.