Turturro plays a melancholy bookstore clerk who gets entangled in a sex-for-hire plot of his boss, played by Allen. What happens next is neither farcical nor titillating, but human. This turns out to be a gentle New York romantic comedy.
John Turturro, familiar as a character actor, provides much of the gentleness. For long scenes he acts largely with his eyes. Turturro's script develops the romantic lead as a man of few, achingly felt words. Woody Allen does a familiar turn, the hapless yet canny schlemiel. Turturro mutes Allen's excesses, giving us more character than shtick. Who charms, and faintly mystifies, as the rabbi's lonely widow? That's French songstress Vanessa Paradis.
This small film is a big delight.