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A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy

The Woody Allen Collection: Volume Three

  • Broadway Danny Rose
  • Hannah and Her Sisters
  • A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy
  • The Purple Rose of Cairo
  • Radio Days
  • Zelig

  • Summary
  • Usually when Woody Allen indulges his fascination with the films and themes of Swedish auteur Ingmar Bergman, the results startle his casual fans with bleak chamber dramas like Interiors, September and Another Woman. With A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, however, Allen mimics Bergman's less-seen lighter side. Inspired by Bergman's romantic comedy Smiles of a Summer Night (1955), Allen crafts a similar tale of turn-of-the-century couples convening upon a remote country estate for a weekend of emotional hijinks and musical beds. Perhaps the lightest of all of Allen's films, Midsummer, in its easy way, floats preciously, precociously, and at times almost disappears for lack of gravity (this is the kind of film in which a man is shot in the heart with an arrow and those around him lament their sorry love lives as he lay dying). To some, the romantic, whimsical and magical flavor might seem like delectable candy, but to others like a mere draft of sweet air. Still, the film is altogether pleasant, steadily amusing, and the cast terrific, with Tony Roberts as a philandering doctor, Jose Ferrer as a severely pragmatic intellectual, Allen as a haphazard inventor, Mary Steenbergen as his frigid wife, Mia Farrow as a resurfacing lost love, and Julie Hagerty as a free-spirited nurse. Presented in a fine, though by no means meticulous, 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer and Dolby Digital mono (Allen's preferred audio format). Trailer, keep-case.
    —Gregory P. Dorr

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