Miramax Films | Release Date: November 3, 1995
8.6
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 39 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
35
Mixed:
3
Negative:
1
WATCH NOW
Review this movie
VOTE NOW
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Check box if your review contains spoilers 0 characters (5000 max)
10
AnthonyM.Jan 6, 2006
This movie is halrious; and ultimately, very sweet. The parady of a Greek chorus alone is worth the price of a DVD. But be warned! If your idea of great movie making involves in any way special effects laden films about the interspecies This movie is halrious; and ultimately, very sweet. The parady of a Greek chorus alone is worth the price of a DVD. But be warned! If your idea of great movie making involves in any way special effects laden films about the interspecies romances of sexy girls and chimps with hyperractive tyroids, you probably should skip this movie. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
SpangleJan 27, 2017
A modern update on Pygmalion starring a hooker with a heart of gold, Mighty Aphrodite is an absolutely hysterical film by director Woody Allen. Blending social commentary with neurosis, Mighty Aphrodite is a play on the Greek tragedies andA modern update on Pygmalion starring a hooker with a heart of gold, Mighty Aphrodite is an absolutely hysterical film by director Woody Allen. Blending social commentary with neurosis, Mighty Aphrodite is a play on the Greek tragedies and amended for Allen's style and wit. The end result is a film that references various Greek tragedies throughout and manages to subvert the expectations of its genre, in spite of repeated warnings from the chorus. Inventive, imaginative, quirky, and witty, Mighty Aphrodite is a film that is decidedly Woody Allen, but feels risky and far more adventurous than many of his other more modern films. With a classic turn from the oddball filmmaker and from Mira Sorvino, Mighty Aphrodite is an incredibly charming film.

The best part of this film is undoubtedly the chorus. Led by F. Murray Abraham, the chorus is a source of great comedy from interactions with Lenny Weinrib (Woody Allen) to calling Zeus and getting his answering machine, the chorus is hysterical. However, as with all Greek tragedies, they play a key role. They tell of events off-screen, alert us to issues the characters face, and intervene throughout. F. Murray Abraham pops up throughout the film to urge Lenny to not be an idiot or give him advice on how to handle a situation. But, above all, the chorus is there is warn characters about obsession and the path to avoid tragedy. They are incredibly doom and gloom and constantly expect the worst to come around every corner. However, Allen's film subverts this with a largely happy and sound landing. Things work out the way they are should with no miscommunication or other romantic comedy cliches. Instead, Allen takes the depressing endings of Greek tragedies and plays it more along the lines of a rom-com where everybody ends up satisfied. This feels like subversion, if only because of the chorus and Allen's repeated references to Greek plays.

One of the most prominent plays referenced in the film is Oedipus. With Jocasta (Olympia Dukakis) and Laius (David Ogden Stiers) in the film, Allen makes overt references, but also adds in Kevin (Michael Rapaport). On a date with with porn star and prostitute Linda Ash (Mira Sorvino), Kevin makes repeated references to how he wants a girl like his mother who takes care of the home and makes dinner, etc. Clearly Oedipal, this date is a precursor to the poor guy finding out Linda made porn films. Needless to say, he did not take kindly. The references continue with a fortune teller named Cassandra (Danielle Ferland) who nobody takes seriously as she warns Lenny about tracking down Linda, the mother of his adopted son, and - along with the chorus - warns him about the trap of obsession. Lenny ignores these warnings and goes behind his wife Amanda's (Helena Bonham Carter) back to find Linda to satisfy his own curiosity (the real killer of people, not that **** about the ozone layer", as the chorus warns) regarding his brilliant son's roots. The film also introduces Tiresias (Jack Warden), the blind prophet. Warning Lenny as to his wife's potential unfaithfulness, Tiresias sees all and remarks that one would "have to be blind" to not see Amanda's positive response to her potential lover. Oh the dramatic irony.

Allen treks on with an ending fit for a Greek tragedy, even if it is not tragic and more in line with a romantic comedy. With Lenny having Linda's son and Linda giving birth to a daughter fathered by Lenny, the two meet again once more a few years after the events of the film. However, they both keep the lineage of their children a secret. They are pleased to see one another with both of them happily married to other people. A classic case of dramatic irony with the audience knowing the truth, but both characters ignorant of the truth, the film's ending is honestly perfect.

That said, the film does have some faults. After a hot start with a fast and light opening 20 minutes that leaves you in stitches, the next 40-50 minutes are a bit slower. The humor is more subtle as Allen dives into the plot with Linda. Jokes come, but not like the first 20 minutes, which was constant. Instead, some jokes fall a bit flatter or result in simple chuckles. This section is what separates it from Allen's best works, as the final half hour or so is terrific yet again. However, the second act just slacks a bit and fails to live up to great first and third acts of this film.

However, Mighty Aphrodite is still an incredibly funny film that is easy entertainment. With a neurotic and nervy turn from Woody Allen and a great bombastic performance from Mira Sorvino, the film is fun and light entertainment. Allen's films manages to always be a breeze to watch, but always truly mentally engaging at the same time with some philosophical thoughts. But, he instead dumps the philosophy here and goes to the source: Greek tragedies. Allen has a thing for the mind of the Greeks and that becomes all the more clear in this film.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews