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Rated R · 99 minutes · 2012

Comedy
It stands to reason that women in Victorian England weren’t active parts of the lovemaking process. Oh, they were in the vicinity; they just weren’t supposed to do much but lay there. Around 1880, medical science and sexuality merged in treatments for hysteria, which were essentially doctor-assisted masturbation sessions for women. This bizarre bit of history was covered in the Tony-nominated play In the Next Room a couple of years ago, and now it gets the film treatment in Hysteria, starring Hugh Dancy as the young doctor whose hands are so overworked by the practice that he invents the vibrator. More or less, it’s a true story. Tanya Wexler’s film is wry and knowing; although the action takes place 125 years ago, its sensibilities smartly let modern audiences in on the joke of how absurd “female hysteria” is.
Official Site: www.sonyclassics.com/hysteria
Director: Tanya Wexler
Producer: Sarah Curtis, Judy Cairo, Tracey Becker, Michael Simpsons, Eric Brenner, Ken Atchity, Sandra Siegel, Leo Joseph, Nathalie Joseph, Mark Kress, Hakan Kousetta, Claudia Blumhuber, Florian Dargel, Peter Fudakowski and Stephen Dyer
Cast: Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, Felicity Jones, Rupert Everett, Sheridan Smith, Kim Criswell, Elisabet Johannesdottir, Ashley Jensen, Gemma Jones, Anna Chancellor, Malcolm Rennie and Georgie Glen

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Hysteria

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What others are saying (6)

Charleston City Paper Lewd subject matter aside, Hysteria is a charmer Here's a film that could easily have been tasteless, leering, and puerile, but instead Tanya Wexler's Hysteria is funny, charming, warm, smart, and probably the best romantic comedy since Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day back in 2008. by Ken Hanke 07/18/2012
East Bay Express Hysteria The dawn of the vibrator age. by Kelly Vance 05/23/2012
Memphis Flyer Good Vibrations A (ahem) stimulating rom-com period piece on women’s rights and medical advancement. by Hannah Sayle 06/14/2012
3 more reviews...
Indy Week Remarkably insipid Hysteria recounts the invention of the vibrator What could have been a quirky and entertaining tale of Victorian London plus vibrators instead turns into 90 minutes of predictable plot lines and flat characters. by David Fellerath 06/13/2012
Portland Mercury Baby's First Vibrator For a movie about the female orgasm, Hysteria doesn't seem to like women very much. by Alison Hallett 06/14/2012

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