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Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy

Starring: Woody Allen, Mia Farrow
Director: Woody Allen
Rated: PG
RunTime: 88 Minutes
Release Date: July 1982
Genres: Comedy, Romance

*Also starring: Jose Ferrer, Julie Hagerty, Mary Steenburgen, Tony Roberts

Review by Andrew Hicks
2½ stars out of 4

After the critically-trashed STARDUST MEMORIES, Woody Allen made a movie that's not too much better. A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S SEX COMEDY is a departure from the usual nihilistic, depressing comedy Woody produces, a whimsical period-piece comedy that has Woody's character an optimistic believer in the spirit world and, even more unlikely, married. Woody and his wife, Mary Steenburgen (who would move on to a man with an even bigger bald spot), are greeting two pairs of guests to their country home for a weekend of various forms of lust and fornication.

Aging college professor Jose Ferrer is engaged to Mia Farrow (in her first of fourteen consecutive Allen films), while promiscuous dentist Tony Roberts has brought horny nurse Julie Hagerty (who worked this movie into her schedule between AIRPLANE! and AIRPLANE II: THE SEQUEL). Three couples in all, but naturally none of the men are particularly interested in their respective lovers. Woody wants Mia, Jose wants Julie and Tony has already bagged Mary.

All three of the men are after Mia -- Jose because he's marrying her, Woody because he regrets not sleeping with her years ago when he had the chance and Tony because he falls in love with her at first sight. Meanwhile, Jose tries to talk Julie into being his last fling before his marriage to Mia and Mary tries to reignite the passion into her marriage with Woody. Although sex-obsessed, the movie never leaves the realm of the PG-rated, which makes sense because it's rated PG.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S SEX COMEDY moves a lot more slowly than the average Allen feature and is a lot less funny than usual because the Woody character is toned down from a cynical bastard to a spiritist inventor. Scenes where he's on the flying bicycle and especially the ending make the movie more absurd than funny, and aside from the basic premise of the movie, there's not much plot, just people trying to flirt and set up secret meetings that invariably backfire, and backfire is pretty much what this movie does after the first hour or so.

Copyright 1996 Andrew Hicks

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