American Gigolo (1980)

american gigolo

I have this idea that The Midnight Cafe could turn itself back into a blog circa 2004. Back then people ran blogs like they post on Facebook or Twitter now. They could be an odd mix of personal stories, pictures, and short blurbs about pop culture and the art they were responding to. I like trying to do something like that here. Over on Twitter I, and lots of other folks, will often post about what were are currently watching or reading, or listening to. We don’t give full reviews, just note what we are doing with maybe a short (this is Twitter after all) couple of sentences about what we liked or didn’t like about it.

My trouble is that when I start to write a post here (where there are no character limits) I tend to get wordy. I don’t really know how to write a review without doing research on the film, or giving my personal background with it which results in too many words. But I’m gonna try.

American Gigolo is a drama by writer/director Paul Schraeder. It stars Richard Gere as a prostitute who caters to rich, elderly women. Things get complicated when he gets involved with a senator’s wife (Lauren Hutton) and is wanted for the brutal murder of a woman he recently was hired by.

It made Gere a huge star and one of the biggest sex symbols of the 1980s. He’s good in it. The film looks great, it is shot like a neo-noir. The soundtrack is great and it turned Blondie’s “Call Me” into a hit. It is probably my least favorite Schraeder film (from the ones I’ve seen). There is something missing from it. Hutton is good in it but her relationship with Gere falls flat for me. It isn’t given enough time for me to believe the film’s message which is something along the lines of “love will save you.”

Karina Longworth’s excellent podcast “You Must Remember This” did an episode on this film as part of her Erotic 80s series and it is well worth a listen.

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