Author: COM DVD H / R
What do women want? Well, science may debate that for years, but Hysteria provides a very entertaining answer in the form of a historical romp through early psychology. Based on the story of a young British doctor who essentially invented the first vibrator, Hysteria handles its offbeat subject matter lightly and amusingly.
HYSTERIA is a romantic comedy wrapped around the surprising story of the first electro-mechanical vibrator, invented by happenstance at a time when the very peak of Victorian prudishness coincided with the dawn of the electrical age. London. 1880. Dr. Mortimer Granville (Dancy) is torn between the “proper” doctor’s staid and static world of success and acceptance and a more progressive and fulfilling, but frowned upon, experience. Tossed out for his forward-thinking ideas by the medical establishment, Granville finds a position with Dr. Robert Dalrymple, a highly respected and successful doctor, with a very popular private practice specializing in treating women diagnosed with Hysteria. In his new position, Dalrymple finds Granville a proper suitor for his beloved daughter Emily, the epitome of “English virtue and womanliness,” with her lovely face, demure manner and artistic and intellectual accomplishments, but it is the elder daughter Charlotte (Gyllenhaal), a firebrand social reformer, arguing passionately for women’s rights to be educated, vote, and live independent lives that secretly excites him. Although Granville is somewhat shocked by Charlotte’s lack of propriety, he feels kinship with her conviction to help those in need. They snipe at each other’s views, but he earns her grudging respect when he treats a poor settlement house woman with a broken ankle.