Wednesday, June 27

REVIEW: Hysteria

Directed by Tanya Wexler
Period Comedy Drama
1 hour 35 minutes
From Sony Pictures

Hugh Dancy
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Jonathan Pryce
Felicity Jones
Rupert Everett

This is an extra posting, not my usual Tuesday-Friday, but I want  to get reviews out as soon as I can.

I might have missed this one.  I had seen a trailer and it looked like it might be up my alley with that English victorian period I am so drawn to.  And it did star Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal, both of whom I like.  While I was still in my deciding period a friend called and said he wanted to see it in three hours and would wait for me in the lobby.  I am but a pawn in the hands of my movegoing friends so off I went.  I am glad I did.

It was a true story about a serious subject for the times and they were all taking it pretty seriously and yet I had many a good laugh... and really, how could you not?

It seems that English women of the time were going through hysteria.  Hysteria?  What is that exactly?  Did anyone know?  It might be assumed they were depressed.  Unhappy.  Withdrawn.  Not themselves.  There was no spirit.  So what did these women do to treat their hysteria?  They went to their doctors.  He put their legs up in some sort of stirrups, put a tent over the lower halves of their bodies and began to digitally manipulate (I'm thinking)... um, their... you know... down there.  Really.  I'm not kidding.  They all had orgasms and a few of the actresses playing these hysterical women might have been channeling Meg Ryan from When Harry Met Sally.  I'm just saying...

Needless to say their hysteria was quickly overcome and I dare say the good doctor must have had a turnstyle at his front door.  There were some considerations given to the males at the homefront who might not have been putting all they had into it, but the women seemed to love their treatments at the doctor's office.

Jonathan Pryce is the Victorian doctor with the right touch and Felicity Jones his sweet daughter and Maggie Gyllenhaal the feisty one, to say the least.  Into all their lives comes Hugh Dancy as an ambitious, eager, modern-thinking, young doctor.  Pryce takes him on as his assistant and in no time at all Dancy is hands-on and no-holds barred on finding a cure for all that hysteria.  At this point, it was sweeping the nation.

Soon enough Dancy is chatting up his friend Rupert Everett who is working on an invention in the form of an electrically-powered feather duster.  And before you can say hysterectomy, Dancy has come up with the world's first vibrator.  Yes, he is the Father of the Vibrator, the doctor who annihilated hysteria as they thought they knew it.

Gyllenhaal pumps the freshest air into the proceedings and we're a little bit happier when she is onscreen. 

And you know, in this day and age when we are hard up for getting anything fresh in the way of movie storylines, we give you one about the invention of the vibrator.  And if you go and you tell your friends and they all go, the movie will become so successful that they will turn it into a musical.  I can't wait...!  I always think curing hysteria would be better with some nice music in the background.

Don't you?

NEXT POSTING:  Review of Magic Mike

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