A vapid, worldly Beverly Hills male escort (Richard Gere) finds his ordered empty, life spiraling out of control when he forsakes his current madam in favor of freelancing and takes a job from his former pimp where his wealthy client winds up dead and himself unable to secure an alibi. Now, his only hope for redemption may lie with a beautiful politician's wife (and client) (Lauren Hutton) who seems to show genuine feelings of love and affection. Paul Schrader's American Gigolo offers a fairly tasteful presentation of its seedy material and is surprisingly well made and plotted (with obvious thriller elements) with polished direction and even strangely affecting on a certain level. Gere's performance is flat though occasionally effective and believable much of the time. The plot and especially the extremely well handled finale owe a lot to Bresson's Pickpocket.
*** 1/2 out of ****