Oh Dear Me! A Film about the Invention of the Vibrator!

Freeze Frame from Clip of film "Hysteria". Credit Hysteria Films Ltd.

After Thursday’s moving film “The Lady” about Aung San Suu Kyi, yesterday my emotions were thrown in the opposite direction with the uproariously funny film “Hysteria” about the invention of the vibrator in Victorian England.

One woman says she is always hungry, another anxious, another has crying jags. It is 1880 and each woman is pouring out her problems to Doctor Mortimer Granville in Victorian era London. Granville and Doctor Dalrymple, a specialist in treating hysteria, are trying to find ways to solve women’s’ melancholy, grouchiness and anger. With the help of an inventor friend they come up with a explosive new invention, the vibrator.

Freeze frame from Trailer of the Three Men trying out the new invention in "Hysteria". Credit "Hysteria Films Ltd.

This film by director Tanya Wexler is a riotous, romantic account of the true story of Mortimer Granvillle and the invention of the vibrator.

Hugh Dancy plays Doctor Mortimer Granville who assists hysteria expert Doctor Dalrymple (Jonathan Pryce) and then falls for his passionate suffragette daughter Charlotte (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal).  Rupert Everett plays Edmund, an inventor who helps with the project.

By the the end of the movie the Victorian-era women are singing and yowling with joy and satisfaction, and so is the audience.

What makes this movie even more hilarious are the costumes.  Women in hats, gloves, and dresses down to their toes, men in tuxedo jackets with vests and cravats all tackling the problem of “Hysteria”.  In other words, it is a film about women’s sexual satisfaction, but there is no skin showing anywhere.

Director Tanya Wexler explained in a press conference at the Rome Film Festival, her idea was to make a movie that was fun.

She said, “I think in many ways the point of the movie is to say, don’t take yourself so seriously…You can go have a bit of fun and that’s part of the freedom, it is very much an empowerment film.”

Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal said she got a kick out of being in a movie that made the audience flushed and excited and tackled the delicate topic of the female orgasm.

Gyllenhaal noted, “We are way more embarrassed and shy and stuck in this sort of Victorian way of thinking than we like to admit.”

I must admit that I have never laid eyes on a vibrator in my life and had no clue about its history.  So, not only did I get good laugh, but I have learned something too.

Post in: Italiano

4 Comments

  1. Avatar
    AdriBarr
    2011/10/29

    Hi Trisha, I am hoping for wide release.

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2011/10/29

      Worldwide release. Satisfaction guaranteed!!!

      Reply
  2. Avatar
    Rebecca
    2012/01/15

    Ha ha I’m an avid reader of Anaïs Nin and Hery Miller among others but I managed to avoid the broadway play of this when it was in NYC because I was slightly blushy about it! I’ll have to see the film though! Great review.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Adri
    2013/03/15

    I finally found it on Netflix. One word – ELECTRIFYING!!

    Reply

Leave a Reply