“Only a drunken, infantile idiot shoots himself over love — not an internist.”
An amateur inventor (Woody Allen) and his wife (Mary Steenburgen) invite two couples — a womanizing doctor (Tony Roberts) and his free-thinking nurse (Julie Hagerty), and a renowned philosopher (Jose Ferrer) and his beautiful fiancee (Mia Farrow) — to spend the weekend with them at their country estate, where cross-couple lust causes sexual mayhem.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Jose Ferrer Films
- Mary Steenburgen Films
- Mia Farrow Films
- Romantic Comedy
- Woody Allen Films
Considered by many to be one of Woody Allen’s lesser films, A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer Night, 1955) is actually an innocuously enjoyable trifle, guaranteed to please Allen’s diehard fans — particularly those disappointed by his recent spate of non-stop misses. Allen’s ensemble cast is nicely chosen, with wide-eyed Julie Hagerty particularly delightful as a sexually “modern” woman:
and Jose Ferrer (what inspired casting!) offering a refreshing dose of arrogant refinement to the proceedings.
Despite its title and topic, Midsummer… is actually rather innocent of sexual content — while sex is discussed ad infinitum, the most we ever see on-screen are gropings and kisses. Allen’s occasional use of supernatural touches (including a flying bicycle and a “spirit machine”):
… may turn some off, but these elements ultimately just add to the charm of this feel-good tale about love and lust, which ends on a surprisingly happy note for all involved.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Julie Hagerty as Nurse Dulcy
- Jose Ferrer as Leopold Sturgis
- Gordon Willis’s luminous cinematography
No, but it’s recommended, and certainly must-see for Woody Allen completists.