American Gigolo (1980)
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Critic Reviews for American Gigolo
Schrader's development of the frame-up story is mechanically melodramatic, and Gere, essentially a boring actor, doesn't help much either. He just cannot carry a picture, even when his passivity and gentleness well serve some aspects of his character...
Schrader's third outing as a director is betrayed by a curious, uncharacteristic evasiveness at its core.
It all becomes something of an academic, if entertaining, exercise that fails to stir the emotions.
The whole movie has a winning sadness about it; take away the story's sensational aspects and what you have is a study in loneliness.
The journey from point A to point B might have been more direct, though given the film's lush visuals and many iconic New York settings, it would probably not have been as pretty.
Audience Reviews for American Gigolo
Paul Schrader's homage to Bresson's Pickpocket proves three things: 1) Being a good screenwriter doesn't automatically make you a good director. 2) Hector Elizondo was bald even when he was young. 3) Richard Gere cannot carry a film to save his life.
I think that American Gigalo is an underrated movie to say the least. Most people who do admit to being a fan of it say that it's just because they like Richard Gere in anything. Not only do I think this is a whole-heartedly good movie, it's way more conscious of its time period and atmosphere than pretty much everything else that it was released against. Sure we have some great criticisms of the 80s, made a full decade later. This judges contemporary lifestyles and even narrative expectations. It doesn't hurt that American Gigalo is a beautiful movie to look at; it makes all the content so much more digestible and even backs up the argument. This shows beautiful people doing bizarre things, having a shady moral code and getting away with murder (practically).
First of all, excellent cinematography and cool music (it was all based on Blondie's song call me). What I didn't like was the cast, they weren't that great, especially Gere. The best part was the end. Overall, it's a pretty good drama, but it really could have been better.