Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Felicity Jones, Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett
Set in the 1880s, Dr Mortimer Granville is employed in a well-to-do London clinic to treat female hysteria. The treatment for sad, depressed or excited women is to bring them to orgasm through massage. But Dr Granville gets hand cramps from the manual manipulation and gets fired, losing his chance to inherit the practice and marry the boss’ daughter, Emily. Oh boy!
So Mortimer invents a tool to replace the hand manipulation, the revolutionary vibrator. It’s a success, and Mortimer wins back Emily. But maybe it’s Emily’s sister Charlotte – the capricious, outspoken, socialist feminist – that is better suited as his mate.
Although this is a comedy, there are many historical truths about women’s rights to astound, and sometimes anger you. Gyllenhaal does a magnificent job as the suffragette Charlotte, drawing attention to the issues of gender and class so inherent in this period.
I really like this movie. It didn’t get very many good reviews, which makes me wonder what people expected with such a subject – the invention of the vibrator! I didn’t expect too much, and was pleasantly surprised. I think it is a terribly amusing film and definitely worth a watch.