Starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Felicity Jones, and Rupert Everett
I wanted to love “Hysteria.” I really did. It has Maggie Gyllenhaal being her ball-busting feminist self, Hugh Dancy looking adorable, and the entire film is about the invention of my favorite thing on Earth, the vibrator.
But instead of being the kind of kickass film that had me texting my girl friends, You have to see this movie, “Hysteria” turned out to be pretty much be a rom-com that tries, and fails, to do “A Dangerous Method.” And it fails badly.
“Hysteria” is set in 1880s London and stars Hugh Dancy as Dr. Mortimer Granville, a dedicated, passionate young doctor who is fired from his job at a hospital for trying to introduce newfangled practices to cut back on germs. He’s hired at a private practice for Dr. Dalrymple, who practices “women’s medicine.” But Dr. Granville quickly finds out that the cure his boss is using to help women with their “hysteria” — anxiety, sadness and “nymphomania” — is squirting lubricant on his hands and … well … rubbing her clitoris. Keep reading »
“[My] favorite thing was a woman in Italy said to me, ‘Which do you think has done more for women’s equality and emancipation, the vibrator or the dishwasher?’”
– Poor Maggie Gyllenhaal. All her promotion for “Hysteria” — her new film with Hugh Dancy about the invention of the vibrator — is going to force her to talk about vibrators. Again. And again. And again. She must be getting so bored. (And horny.) However, I do love how one commenter on this interview with the New York Times answered, “Neither — the birth control pill and the washing machine.” That’s probably true. [NY Times]
There’s been a heck of a lot of talk about Portland lately, what with the Fred Armisen/Carrie Brownstein show “Portlandia,” all about how the city stuck in the ’90s with its progressive politics and its locavore restaurants and its whole DIY artisinal cheese vibe. Watching “Portlandia” was a little headsmackingly close to home for me, though, because I live in Brooklyn. And not just any part of Brooklyn — Greenpoint, which is the Polish neighborhood directly to the north of Hipster Ground Zero, Williamsburg. Since Winona lives in Portland, we decided to compare and contrast our two fair cities — after all,”Portlandia” spawned an awful Brooklyn parody called Brokelandia (don’t watch it, it’s truly appalling). The verdict? Well, we’ve got Maggie Gyllenhaal. How you like us now?
“By the time I finished the movie I’d been sent maybe 15 vibrators by different people in London with vibrator stores. It was a pleasant surprise. So I have this incredible collection, and I actually use like one or two of them. I lend them to my friends, and they’ll take them for six months at a time.”
— Maggie Gyllenhaal, who is starring in the movie “Hysteria,” about the invention of the vibrator, is very generous. But I find it a bit strange that her friends borrow her vibrators and then presumably give them back. Like checking books out at the library. Huh. [Contact Music] Keep reading »
The time before the invention of the vibrator is a dark period of world history which I prefer not to think about. But imagine, ladies, if you will, a period when all of a woman’s problems were attributed to “hysteria,” a vague pathological affliction which doctors found could best be cured by applying pressure to a woman’s most delicate regions. A suffering woman could be relieved of her hysteria by hand, of course, but the world needed a device to get the job done more quickly. “Hysteria” premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival next month and stars Hugh Dancy as a young doctor in Victorian England and Maggie Gyllenhaal as his boss’s daughter, who knows at the root of all these hysterics is a need for pleasure. God bless electricity, that’s all I have to say. [YouTube] Keep reading »
Finally, the most under-appreciated invention in the history of the world is getting its due; this fall, Maggie Gyllenhaal will film an indie romantic comedy, “Hysteria,” about the invention of the vibrator! It’s set in Victorian-era London and she plays the daughter of a doctor who treats what used to be called “hysteria,” i.e., crankiness and tension. Hugh Dancy will play one of the docs and Rupert Everett will play his best friend. Both are convinced a new vibrating device could help ladies clear that “hysteria” right up. I hate to spoil the ending but … well, we all know it works. [Variety] Keep reading »