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Hysteria

Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Felicity Jones, Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett

MV5BMjI0NDExNjcwMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTU4Mzg2Nw@@._V1_SX214_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.

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Ella Enchanted

Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy

I bought this movie for my kids to watch. But it’s okay as a family flick as well – we all enjoy it. And it has quite a good soundtrack.

Hathaway is Ella, bewitched from birth to be obedient. As an adult, she seeks to find the fairy who gave her the ‘gift’ and have it revoked – being obedient can certainly have its drawbacks. She embarks on a journey and meets a handsome prince along the way.

But the film also looks at issues of power and class – shown through the injustices and prejudices against the ogres, giants, and elves. The prince’s evil Uncle is the maker of the injustices and seeks to take the crown from the prince who is the future king. So Ella’s journey is also a journey to help the prince, help her forest friends (and find love of course).

The kids get a sense of what is right and what is wrong. The world is made up of a lot of different people, all of whom have their own hopes and desires. And the handsome prince doesn’t save the princess – she can kick ass in her own right and my girls love that!

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy

It’s funny that I like this movie because it’s about shopping to excess, and I hate any kind of shopping.  I couldn’t imagine paying hundreds of dollars for a pair of shoes – maybe a good pair of boots that last for years and years, but that’s about it. But in the end, sense wins over shopping and I can enjoy re-watching this film when I want to see a bit of glamour.

Isla Fisher plays Rebecca Bloomwood, a journalist, who lands herself a job at a magazine about finance.  Being heavily in debt herself makes this an unlikely position for her, but she uses her personal style and becomes a hit.  She covets a job at the sister magazine about fashion, but the journey towards her dream job has her fall in love, and discover things in life that are more important than buying clothes.

The best friend is played by Krysten Ritter who I absolutely love.  She pops up again in What Happens in Vegas and She’s out of My League– can’t wait until Ritter gets the lead role in her own romantic comedy.  The romantic male leader played by Dancy is pretty inconsequential, as Fisher overshadows everyone else in the film.

I really like this movie because contains a lot of the elements I desire in a rom com – the glamour, the best friend, and of course the romance.

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