I don’t get the relatively weak ratings (59% Rotten Tomatoes, 56% Metacritic) rating for John Turturro‘s Fading Gigolo (Millenium, opened on 4.18). It’s not great but it’s fine, and there’s just no reason to be brusque or dismissive. Last September I called it “a gentle, Brooklyn-based, light-touch, indie-romantic fable. It’s appealing in a kindly, burnished, old-fashioned way, and it happens in a realm entirely (and in some ways charmingly) of Turturro’s imagining. Eroticism, trust me, barely pokes through. The atmosphere is one of reverence, nostalgia, dignity, romance, class, compassion, tradition. The big standout element is gap-toothed Vanessa Paradis making her English-language debut.”

Then again what I’ve written above is a moot point as Fading Gigolo did pretty well last weekend. Audiences ignored naysaying critics as well as the general Woody Allen hate brigade. Here’s a piece by Deadline‘s Pete Hammond sussing out the numbers and the meaning of it all.