June 5, 2012

My new favourite vibrator movie....

This weekend we went to see a movie that we both loved... Hysteria, the historical romantic comedy about the invention of the "personal massage device"... yep, it's about the invention of the vibrator. And it's based on a true story. So that makes it a history lesson, right?

This is the story of a young doctor desperate for work who takes on an apprenticeship with a rich older doctor who specializes in women's "hysteria"; his patients are basically bored lonely unsatisfied women in Victorian England who he finger-blasts to orgasm as "treatment" for their medically diagnosed hysteria. It is charming how innocently they do not think of this as sexual -- it is done in the manner of a gynaecological appointment, up to and including the orgasm part.


As the young doctor, played by Hugh Dancy, grows his career, he begins to date the doctor's proper young daughter while also being drawn to the doctors' other misfit daughter, an outspoken  rebellious social activist played by Maggie Gyllenhaal.

While the young doctor because more expert and renowned for his own hysteria treatment, he develops the worse case of carpal tunnel I have ever seen.  So he has to figure out options. And at the same time his rich inventor friend played by Rupert Everett is working on an electric feather duster which gives him a idea... and hilarity ensures.


On the downside, I am guessing the movie is not exactly the literal truth on 1880s England, and at times the Gyllenhaal character is a bit too modern to be right for the times (I expected bra burning at any moment), but when the movie is this fun --- and sweetly innocent in a charming way --- I didn't really care.

At its heart, this comedy is a romance between a quiet cautious man and a loud liberated woman, and the vibrator story is a winning setting for it. See Hysteria...