When he discovers his adopted son is a genius, a New York sportswriter seeks out the boy's birth mother: a ditzy porn star and prostitute.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pamela Blair ...
Rene Ceballos ...
Greek Chorus (as René Ceballos)
Elie Chaib ...
George De La Pena ...
Joanne DiMauro ...
...
...
Greek Chorus (as Marianne Filali)
Angelo Fraboni ...
Scott Fowler ...
Seth Gertsacov ...
Patti Karr ...
Fred Mann III ...
John Mineo ...
Christopher Nelson ...
Valda Setterfield ...
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Storyline

Lenny and Amanda have an adopted son Max who turns out to be brilliant. Lenny becomes obsessed with finding Max's real parents because he believes that they too must be brilliant. When he finds that Linda Ash is Max' real mother, Lenny is disappointed. Linda is a prostitute and porn star. On top of that, she is quite possibly the dumbest person Lenny has ever met. Interwoven is a Greek chorus linking the story with the story of Oedipus. Written by Jason Ihle <jrihl@conncoll.edu>

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The new comedy from Woody Allen


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sex-related material | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

10 November 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Poderosa Afrodita  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$6,700,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Mono)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Olympia Dukakis only speaks 3 lines and barely appears for 1 minute despite having principle billing on the poster. See more »

Goofs

The scene at the school where Lenny and Amanda consider sending their child was shot at the City & Country School in New York, a world-famous progressive K-8 school in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan. During their visit, a school administrator mentions that the child's test scores are acceptable. In real life, however, the school does not use standardized-test scores when considering prospective students. See more »

Quotes

Max: Who is the boss between you and mommy?
Lenny Weinrib: Who is the boss? You have to ask that? I'm the boss. Mommy is only the decision maker.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Greek Chorus does the "When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles At You)" song-and-dance production number over half the credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Edición Especial Coleccionista: Casino Royale (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The 'In' Crowd
(1965)
Written by Billy Page
Performed by Ramsey Lewis
Courtesy of MCA Records
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User Reviews

 
Woody tempts fate
29 July 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Woody Allen gives us an unconventional friendship with a Greek tragedy (Or comedy) as its backdrop. Story is about a sports writer named Lenny (Allen) who is married to Amanda (Helena Bonham Carter) and she works in an art gallery but their marriage is on the rocks so Amanda suggests they adopt a baby but Lenny at first says no. After they adopt a boy they name Max it takes no time for Lenny to change his mind. As Max grows Lenny is very curious about who left him for adoption and he starts snooping around until he tracks down Max's real mother. Turns out his real mother is Linda Ash (Mira Sorvino) who is a hooker and sometimes porno actress and Lenny sets up dates with her (No sex) and gets to know her better. He doesn't tell her that he has adopted her son and a friendship develops between the two. Meanwhile, Amanda is having an affair with Jerry (Peter Weller) and she moves out. Lenny tries to help Linda improve her life and sets up a date between her and a local boxer named Kevin (Michael Rapaport). During the course of this film Lenny talks to members of a Greek chorus who chant out what he should and should not do and sometimes they break into song! Three of the Greek chorus members are F. Murray Abraham, David Ogden Stiers and Olympia Dukakis. This is one of Allens funniest films in years and Sorvino steals the picture. I could listen to her talk that dialogue all day long. One of the many lines that stand out is when on a date with Rapaport she tells him she dated a pinball champion, but two guys strangled him! Sorvino appears on the surface to be just another kooky hooker but as the film develops we start to really care for her character and Sorvino adds just the right amount of charm and realism without forgetting the comedic elements of her role. One of the reasons the friendship between her and Allen works so well is because Sorvino displays her own sharp and quick wit to their spirited conversations. Allen has never used four letter words in his films but he does here and it seems appropriate with Linda's background and the violent pimp that Lenny goes to visit. The cinematographer is the great Carlo DiPalma and he's shot several of Allens films as well as "Blowup". The colors are interesting in several shots and the color yellow is very prominent. The focus of the story is about Allens character tempting fate by intruding in on Linda's life and trying to change it. This is clearly one of Allens best films and Sorvino is just terrific in a career making performance.


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