After months of anticipation I finally managed to sit down and watch the movie Hysteria, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy. It’s a story based on the invention of the first electric vibrator against the backdrop of Victorian London with our hero, a kindhearted doctor who ends up working or an elderly doctor in a practice that treats women afflicted with “hysteria.” The treatment, of course, involves manual stimulation of the woman’s clitoris until she experiences a “paroxysm” and then (amazingly!) feels a whole lot better.
Then our hero meets a notorious do-gooder who we learn is the errant daughter of old Doc Magic Fingers and who is a very forward thinking independent woman in an era that is not know for being kind to women of her ilk. Inevitably, calamity ensues.
Honestly, I was a little disappointed in this movie. The premise is good but for anybody who has spent time learning the history of vibrators (which I have) or the general history of women’s rights in Victorian England (which I have) then nothing in the movie will really surprise, shock, or inform you. The plot, such as it is, really only seems to exist to show you scenes of women having their vagina massaged either with or without a vibrator. The rest of the story is thin, unexciting and, all the orgasms notwithstanding, fairly anti-climactic.
In all the Hysteria promised but it just didn’t deliver. Even though I do dearly love Maggie Gyllenhaal I left the movie feeling rather frustrated and wondering if the time would have been better spent with the vibrator itself instead of the story of how it was created.
Nobody paid me for this review. I did it all on my own just because I can.