American Gigolo (1980)
An impertinently sexy Richard Gere slides his way through the first part of this chic, smooth half-baked erotica/crime film by Paul Schrader. The film was groundbreaking in its own right, largely thanks to the objectifying of the title character, something Gere incidentally is fully comfortable with and revels in. But the novelty of Schrader's motifs wears off and he hasn't got any creative direction to take his film in, other than into very familiar and ultimately cheesy crime and romance territory. Julian Kay turns out to be every bit as feeble and unable to tackle his own existence as any other female counterpart would have been. That may be Schrader's point, but it feels counter-productive, bordering on sexist towards both genders. That being said, Richard Gere actually plays here, it's probably one of his best ever performances. Look for Hector Elizondo, who steals every scene he's in as an arrogant detective. The score is by Giorgio Moroder and shares a quality with the film itself: it's stylish, but repetitive.