A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982)







Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, José Ferrer, Julie Hagerty, Tony Roberts, Mary Steenburgen, Adam Redfield, Moishe Rosenfeld, Timothy Jenkins, Michael Higgins, Sol Frieder, Boris Zoubok, Thomas Barbour, Kate McGregor-Stewart


Inventor Andrew Hobbs (Woody Allen) and his wife Adrian (Mary Steenburgen) invite two other couples for a weekend party at a romantic summer house in 1900s countryside.


Ugh that title! This isn't something I usually complain about, but today I can't do otherwise because it probably is the biggest flaw of the film. It is supposed to define the movie but it actually says what the film is not - as well as being a bit awkward to say.

In fact, "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy" is an unengaging film with no real sex and no real comedy, only some flirts and some smiles. At least it got the 'midsummer night' part right.

The concept, which is basically a group of friends who lust over each other into the woods, could have been slightly interesting, but it gets a bit tedious after a while, and the dialogue, full of vitality at times, succumbs to Allen's weak jokes and characters lacking depth and substance. Also it's impossible to understand how is everybody lusting over Mia Farrow's character. There's really nothing special about her.

In this "comedy", it doesn't seem like Allen wants to send a message of some kind, he rather tries to transform a title into a film, but failing miserably, as mentioned earlier. And that's quite funny because both Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and Bergman's "Smiles of a Summer Night", artworks upon which Allen has clearly taken inspiration from, did justice to their titles.

However, despite the many flaws, the film is slightly better than Allen's "Stardust Memories" because it at least has a plot, made of love triangles, between men whose sexual desire deviates from the women they love, and women who are only apparently moral as they admit their lusts as soon as the man makes the first step.

In opposition to the mediocre work as writer, Woody Allen does a good job both directing and acting. José Ferrer is great as Leopold, a cold, atheistic intellectual. Julie Hagerty does a very good job as Dulcy, the free-thinking nurse. Tony Roberts is great as Maxwell, a ladies' man doctor. Mary Steenburgen does a good job as Adrian, Allen's wife. Then there is Mia Farrow, she is awful. I'm not sure comedy is her thing, but the most annoying thing is that she tried to emulate Diane Keaton for the whole time. Okay, the role was written for her, but she should have brought herself to the screen not somebody else. 

Sex alleviates tension and love causes it. - Andrew


  1. I have not seen this film because, when it first came out, the Woody Allenness seem to come forth and from what your wrote here, I think I am on to something. I was never really a Mia Farrow fan-she just seems like someone I would want to slap, for no reason...just like I want to slap Gwyneth Paltrow:)

    1. Haha I feel the same about Gwyneth Paltrow!