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A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy

49 customer reviews

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(Nov 06, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Teeming with all "the beauty of an impressionist painting" (The New York Times), A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy is writer/director Woody Allen's "lightest and most sensual film" (L.A. Weekly) to date. Starring Allen, Mia Farrow (directed by Allen for the first time), Jose Ferrer, Julie Hagerty, Tony Roberts and Mary Steenburgen, A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy is a dazzling, uproarious masterpiece from "America's best comic filmmaker" (The Film Journal)! Love is in the air and magic is afoot when turn-of-the-century inventor Andrew and his wife Adrian host a country wedding for the pompous philosopher Dr. Leopold and his young fiancÃ(c)e Ariel. But when Andrew's best friend, the randy Dr. Maxwell Jordan, and his lusty nurse Dulcy turn up for the festivities, the stage is soon set for thwarted seductions, mismatched mates and magical mayhem, as Maxwell falls for Ariel, Ariel seduces Andrew, Leopold beds Dulcyand the bride and groom say "I do"to everyone except each other!

In A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, Woody Allen mixes Shakespeare, Ingmar Bergman, and the music and art of the turn of the century. Allen plays Andrew, an inventor, whose listless marriage to Adrian (Mary Steenburgen) has lost all erotic zip. He welcomes two pairs of friends to his country home: college professor Leopold (José Ferrer) and his fiancée Ariel (Mia Farrow), and dentist Maxwell (Tony Roberts) and his suffragette nurse Dulcy (Julie Hagerty). Before long, everyone's lusting after everyone else's partner, and the plot twists and turns to a happy and magical conclusion. It's a light and airy film, perhaps a deliberate break from Allen's previous production, the caustic Stardust Memories; but the tone may also be due to his new relationship with Farrow, who went on to star in Allen's films for the next 10 years. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Mia Farrow, Jose Ferrer, Julie Hagerty, Tony Roberts, Mary Steenburgen
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: November 6, 2001
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005O06K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,750 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 5, 2001
Format: DVD
Have to agree with Mr. Terry Lane--this is a fabulous movie. It's my sentimental favorite of all Allen's films. I've seen a lot of mediocre reviews of this film and that's a shame. I guess I couldn't rightly say that this is his "best" film, but I do believe it is his "best executed." The setting, the characters, the cinematography just all click. Sure, it isn't his deepest film, it is probably less cynical than most of his other films, but folks, that's not the point of this little gem. In spite of the Smiles on a Summer Night inspiration, this film really owes more (and owes it more directly) to Shakespeare's fantasy comedies like A Midsummer Night's Dream.
As one review mentioned, this is a piece of Impressionism. It isn't about meaning or message specifically--it's about mood. And let me tell you, this film captures the mood of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream better than any production of the play I have ever seen--and I'm not exaggerating. Critics of Woody Allen's "Sex Comedy" have no right mouthing off unless they are open to and can appreciate the whimsy that makes Shakespeare's comedies so affecting. That, it seems to me, was the point of the originals, and that is also the point of this movie. We, the audience, like gods are peering in on the mere mortals as they haplessly play at the game of life. We laugh at and with them because we are so far removed, but really, they reflect us, and this draws us in where we can also be happily implicated. In true comedy we recognize our own humanity--it is the art of comedy to show us these things that could be painful, this suffering that defines our existence, in a way that we can do nothing but laugh and simply accept it. That is a subtle art and one worthy of respect.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr Terry Lane on November 20, 2001
Format: DVD
At last, Woody's finest film on DVD. And it has never looked so good. Neither in the cinema nor on VHS has justice been done to this beautiful film, looking for all the world like an animated impressionist painting.
This is Mr Allen's most sentimental, romantic and least cynical work. The location, the light, the cinematography, Mendelsshon's music and Jose Ferrer's acting all work together to make a funny, charming, gorgeous film. And now we can see it widescreen, framed as Allen and Willis intended.
I have been waiting since DVD was invented for this film on disc. It is not a disappointment.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 2, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
`A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy' and `Shadows and Fog' are two of Woody Allen's `second tier movies, less highly regarded than `Annie Hall', `Manhattan', and `Hannah and Her Sisters', but nonetheless a great pleasure to watch over and over again for anyone who has a taste for Allen's movies. The fact that Allen's movies, even these parodies of classic works and genres are primarily about characters and their personalities, passions, and foibles rather than about story, so you don't loose the primary reason for watching the movie as you do when you watch `The Maltese Falcon' or `Die Hard' or even `The Terminator' for the first time. I have seen both of these movies several times and I constantly find new pleasures in the dialogue.

Aside from their both being genre parodies, both movies share several other aspects, not the least of which is Allen's usual well oiled crew plus great `visiting' Director of Photography. I am constantly amazed at the consistently high level of quality in the filming of Allen's movies, since he has a great reputation for bringing his works in within schedule and under budget. Part of his economy is probably due to the fact that while Allen as director is not in the same league as Martin Scorsese or even Clint Eastwood, lots of actors drop what they are doing to be able to appear in the next Woody Allen film. And, they probably appear for a lot less money than they would for Marty or Clint. I also sense in some scenes that Allen lets little flubs go to the final print which Scorsese, for example, would reshoot until it was perfect.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By F. S. L'hoir VINE VOICE on October 14, 2011
Format: DVD
"MSNSC" is my one of my favourite Woody Allen films. I enjoy watching it every year. Its genuinely witty dialogue is delivered by one of Allen's best ensemble casts: Jose Ferrer as the stuffy Academic Philosopher, who refuses to believe in magic; Mia Farrow as his intended, Ariel, whose etherial appearance belies her salty past; Tony Roberts, as the perennial best friend, Maxwell, a doctor who specialises in philandering; Julie Hagerty, as his wide-eyed but willing nurse, Dulcie, who is extremely well-read in the Katzenjammer Kids; Mary Steenbergen, as Allen's repressed wife, Adrian, who conceals a secret; and Allen who takes his neurotic city-schlub character a charming step further in his role as Andrew, an inventor of wildly impractical wonder machines.

Allen's setting of the film in the early 20th century allows viewers to suspend their collective disbelief. The guests, who arrive for their country weekend in jaunty roadsters, are clad in head-to-toe dusters; the women with their long wasp-waisted skirts and lacy blouses look as if they have stepped out of a Gibson Girl calendar. Adrian's repression, in fact, is emphasised by her tightly-strung corset, and the trouble in her marriage to Andrew is made evident by the camera's focus not on husband and wife but on their mirrored image
on the wall of their empty bedroom, with its striped wallpaper and old-fashioned framed sentimental prints of blissful couples.

Andrew and Adrian's white wooden Victorian gingerbread house is set in a New York meadow surrounded by lush woodlands in which the light dances as it filters through the leaves, constantly altering our perspective.
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