American Gigolo ****


“American Gigolo” is an interesting piece about a male prostitute who enjoys seducing women to support his lavish life style.  Eventually he gets involved with the wrong people and finds himself framed for murder.  Seems simple but it gets a little more complicated then that.

Richard Gere is Julian Kaye.  Julian specializes in high class women, mostly married, who bring him along to events in their daily lives, mostly for companionship and a little sex.  When he is framed for murder, it is interesting to see his clients turn their backs on him and refuse alibis in an attempt to save face.  What’s even more interesting is the husbands who realize what is going on and aide their wives to save face as well.

The first half of the film is an interesting drama about the daily life of a gigolo but the last half becomes the portrait of a man who is finds the walls closing in.  He grows more and more desperate.  As he wades further in to trouble we also get a look at some of the seedy under carriage of the sex trade and we meet a wide variety of sleazy characters.

The film is directed by Paul Schrader, a man whose films I have admired.  He seems to be attracted to characters that stand outside of society.  Outsiders who attempt to portray a normal exterior when inside they are anything but normal.  “American Gigolo” contains a lot of these types of themes.

I find that the best types of films are ones that don’t easily fit in to one genre.  “American Gigolo” starts as a sort of satire and ends in an engaging murder mystery with an outcome that will sit with you for a long time.


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