|Google the movie yourselves - can't get pics|
I wasn't going to bother to see this movie about the invention of the vibrator in Victorian times (yawn - I mean I used to sell the things), but my favorite movie critic waxed so enthusiastic about the film, calling it classy, sophisticated, funny, satirical with marvellous acting and a clever script, absolutely based on fact and likely to win Oscars, that I gathered my bunch of friends and we saw it this week. If you intend to see this film and have access to it - DON'T READ ON! I am going to relate some of the best bits. Maggie Gyllenhall plays a feisty, do-gooding pre-Suffragettes character - the film is set in 1880 - whose father has a very successful Harley street practice where he specialises in relieving the state of 'hysteria' (read: sexual frustration) from which all society ladies seem to suffer. This he does by manually manipulating them until they climax (or have a 'paroxyism', as he calls it). It is quite comic to see these ladies in their street clothes (still with elaborate hats on), lying back on a table with their feet up in stirrups and a red velvet curtain modestly concealing their 'delicate parts'. Apparently, they all arrive without knickers, as we don't see these removed. Enter our young, idealistic but penniless doctor, as the new assistant. He earnestly takes notes which watching a demonstration, preceded by the liberal oiling of the doctor's fingers and succeeded by a variety of reactions as the ladies noisily climax. Both doctors sincerely believe that without penetration by a penis, no lady can experience sexual pleasure so the 'paroxyism' they experience is purely a nervous condition. Understandably, most wives were thought to be frigid owing to their husbands' lamentable lack of knowledge. The young doctor commences his work: it is not long before his right hand suffers painful cramps and he end up being fired because he can no longer 'perform' as his arm up to the elbow is in a brace. Disgraced, he explains his dilemma to a friend, whose hobby is electronics and voila! - the invention of the vibrator and fame and fortune for our young hero. This part is hilarious and we nearly fell off our chairs laughing. As the credits roll at the end of the film - stay in your seat! The director has some fun: liveried valets are seen carrying beautiful wooden boxes on velvet cushions into Queen Victoria's bedroom, there are photos of vibrators as they have developed until the 1980s and there is one delightful scene, where a dowager duchess in her nightcap is depicted sitting up in bed observing a lot of action under the blankets down near her feet. "Are you alright, Henry?" she asks. "Yes, dear. Don't worry. Rome wasn't built in a day", he replies - then the sound of a tiny motor starting up. Ecstasy on the lady's face. ..... Unbelievably, relates the film, the condition of 'hysteria' wasn't wiped off the medical dictionary until 1952. Well, well, well! I"m afraid that what with this film, Fifty Shades of Grey and its copies, life is getting very hard for the men these days. About time too.