Gently amusing tale of misguided medicine, female masturbation, and the invention of the dildo.
I won't go into details of the plot, which gets a little intricate, but Hugh Dancy is a young doctor who is swept up in a nutty scheme to get off all the unsatisfied wealthy women of London, inducing "paroxysms," first by hand, then with an electric device. Plump Mrs. Castellari breaks into a famous aria during one of her paroxysms.
Women are luckier that men as far as paroxysms go. They don't suffer the same prolonged refractory period. This is demonstrated in the film when Molly the maid, the first experimental subject, has three paroxysms in five minutes, boldly going where no man has gone before.
You must love the production design. Most of it takes place in indoor settings and Victorian stuff is great to look at and to use and those potted plants and the salacious servants. The acting is professional, the dialog sometimes cunning, and the movie isn't at all dirty.
Further, it has a serious substrate -- feminine independence from the oppressive mores of 1888. It also raises questions of moral value like ignoring the poor and treating the wealthy. (We seem to be struggling with a similar issue today.) If you enjoyed, say, "The Wrong Box," you ought to like this. Although, I must say, the notion of masturbating females while relieving them of their panorama of "hysterical symptoms" isn't new. I gave a sterling performance in an earlier treatment of the subject, "The Road to Wellville," in which Sir Anthony Hopkins gets to contemptuously spit out the line -- "It's her womb. He's man-IP-ulating it!"
Action / Comedy / Romance
Action / Comedy / Romance
In 1880 pioneering doctor Mortimer Granville,sacked from various hospitals for challenging his superiors' out-moded methods,gets a job with Dr Dalrymple,who relieves female patients' frustrations - or hysteria - with pelvic massages which allow orgasm. The handsome young doctor attracts a large female clientele and gets engaged to Dalrymple's studious younger daughter Emily but after the constant massaging brings on a carpal injury he is sacked. Fortunately an enterprising inventor friend has come up with a power operated feather duster which will soon be transformed into a vibrator and make Mortimer a fortune. Along the way he also realises that his heart really lies with Emily's older sister Charlotte,an outspoken suffragette who runs a home for disadvantaged women in London's East End.
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April 06, 2012 at 04:03 AM