Mighty Aphrodite

Mighty Aphrodite
Comedy, Romance
1995

Director: Woody Allen CastWoody Allen, Helena Bonham Carter, Mira Sorvino, F. Murray Abraham, Peter Weller, Michael Rapaport, Claire Bloom, Olympia Dukakis, Jeffrey Kurland, Paul Giamatti, Danielle Ferland

Academy Awards: Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Mira Sorvino)

Also Nominated For: Best Original Screenplay (Woody Allen)

I First Saw In: 2015

Synopsis: When he discovers his adopted son is a genius, a New York sportswriter seeks out the boy’s birth mother: a prostitute.

Quotables: CHORUS: Children grow up, they move out! Sometimes to ridiculous places like Cincinnati or Boise, Idaho! Then you never see them again!

And now a Word from the Guise:
Woody Allen films are an acquired taste… for pessimistic cynics with neuroses. I tend to prefer his films when he’s not acting in them, because he’s a much better writer than he is actor. This is a classic case of misogynistic “mansplaining”; Our Woody-Allen-type-played-by-Woody-Allen hero finds himself in a loveless marriage after his strong, independent wife decides to adopt a baby after he decides he doesn’t want a kid. But not everything is falling apart: his son is really smart; so, on a whim, he decides that he wants to find his son’s biological mother. When he finds out she’s a prostitute, he decides that he’s going to try to “save her from her hazardous lifestyle” in true heroic fashion. He even tells her that she doesn’t need to be a prostitute and do pornos, because she’s pretty enough to be a real actress and pretty enough to get a husband with a good job and have a family. And really isn’t that all women need in life: to be validated by a man?

Well, he sets her up with a seemingly nice guy who punches her in the face after he learns that she’s a prostitute. The movie ends with a montage of romantic scenes, one of them including the woman-beater kissing his new girlfriend, and they’re all smiles. I wonder how long it until he started beating her too? But hey, I guess everyone deserves a happy ending right?

The only thing that I liked about this movie was the hilarious and witty Greek Chorus, lead by F. Murray Abraham. But then the line at the end about “handicapped people being so cranky” ruined even that.

Oscar Madness Ranking – ??? out of 233

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