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Nostalgic for the '80's
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I would consider "American Gigolo" a quintessential '80's American film. The opening scene of Julien Kay (Gere) driving down the CA highway while Blondie's "Call me" plays really takes me back to the '80's - though the song is from the '70's, and the movie was probably primarily filmed in '79.

I first saw AG back in the 200X's - and, as an adult, I definitely "get" this a lot more that I would have if I had seen it as a teen back in the day. There is something intriguing about being a guy who not only lives off of women, but who takes pride in doing so.

That being said, the movie also shows the "dark side" of such a lifestyle - which I found added a good dose of realism to the film: When Julien is being set up for the murder of a former "client", you can see how everyone that he was in good graces with prior to that - ends up dropping him like a hot potato. I.e., his "relationships" are very tenuous & based on services rendered, and that's it. This is one of the most interesting aspects of AG to me: Schrader, instead of making a movie that glamorizes Julien's lifestyle (which he easily could have done), takes the opposite route & clearly illustrates the darker side to the "profession". I.e., if you are in the "business" you will probably need to do some degrading/dangerous things, you will be looked down on by many (much of which is probably because of envy), and there are a lot of sleazy people out there who will betray you in a NY minute.

This is why the politician's wife (Lauren Hutton) supporting him & staying by his side (despite the permanent damage this did to her & her husband's reputation) was especially touching- she was the only one that believed in Julien, due in large part because she had fallen for him - very poignant theme here. I don't consider this unrealistic, just unlikely - though definitely not impossible.

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Logan 5
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Gere was perfectly cast as the good-looking snotty gigolo. The music was great too ('Call Me' by Blondie was the biggest single of the year). It's slick and stylish and in some ways prescient for what came later in the 80's. It was criticised a lot at the time for being all style no substance, and that's a legitimate criticism to me. I watched it recently, and I came away feeling like although the movie was good it seemed to be missing some 'meat' on the plot's bones. I would watch it now for the vibe and era (and to some extent the performances) but not so much for the story.
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Nostalgic for the '80's
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quote:
Originally posted by Logan 5:
Gere was perfectly cast as the good-looking snotty gigolo. The music was great too ('Call Me' by Blondie was the biggest single of the year). It's slick and stylish and in some ways prescient for what came later in the 80's.

Most definitely! Well put, well said.

It's worth noting that there is a 1979 American Gigolo novelization (by Timothy Harris) that is based on the Paul Schrader screenplay - I recently re-read this from the library. Overall, the storyline is similar to what we saw in the film - but there are interesting differences; the novel presents a much less glamorous lifestyle for Julien, and is much gorier & more explicit.

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