Film Review: Good Vibrations for Maggie Gyllenhaal in Uneven ‘Hysteria’

Chicago – Combining late 19th century Victorian England with the invention of the vibrator is a surefire laugh getter, but unfortunately “Hysteria” adds in a romance subplot and doesn’t climax. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Jonathan Pryce and Felicity Jones add to the buzz.

Rating: 3.0/5.0

The term “hysteria” refers to a condition that was fostered upon women as a catch-all medical explanation for ennui, depression or nervousness caused by sexual frustration – this simply wasn’t talked about in the days of Queen Victoria. When a male doctor builds a huge practice just by applying manual stimulation to the condition, using technology to invent a vibrating machine is the logical and hilarious next step. The film is a one joke premise delivered with understated absurdity, but also wants to be a warm and fuzzy romantic romp, and that’s when it gets in the way of itself.

Charlotte (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and Emily
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