This is the most enjoyable movie I’ve seen in a long time. It’s written and directed by John Turturro, but Woody Allen dominates on screen. Set mostly in the Williamsburg neighborhood of New York, the film is visually and emotionally stimulating. Allen, as Murray Schwartz, is shuttering his bookstore. His employee and friend, Fioravante (Turturro), is facing a hand-to-mouth existence until Murray gets the idea of ‘pimping’ him after his rich dermatologist (Sharon Stone) mentions she’s interested in ‘a menage.’ Turns out, the brooding and gentle Fioravante is a huge success in the new venture, which brings fleeting joy to lonely rich women, but not to him.

Meanwhile, we see the softer side of Murray when he attempts to lighten the life of Williamsburg widow Avigal (Vanessa Paradis). Depressed and removed from the bustling life around her, Avigal’s senses are reawakened when Murray arranges for a ‘therapy’ session with Fioravante, in the form of a massage. It’s all innocent enough, yet the connection these two make stirs feelings that bring each back into the fold of the living. Of course there’s plenty of silliness too: Why does Murray live with a black woman and her four kids? Why would Sharon Stone pay for sex?

Should You See It? Absolutely. It’s funny and touching. —D.W.

Viewed at Landmark Theatres The Tivoli.