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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 11/11/02

A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy
1982 (2001) - Orion (MGM)

review by Graham Greenlee of The Digital Bits

Enhanced for 16x9 TVs

A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy Film Rating: B-

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B-/C/D+

Specs and Features
88 mins, PG, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced, single-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, theatrical trailer, film-themed menu screens, scene access (16 chapters), languages: English (DD 2.0 mono), subtitles: English, French and Spanish, Closed Captioned

"I'm not a poet. I don't die for love. I work on Wall Street."

In the early 1900's, Andrew (Woody Allen) and Adrian (Mary Steenburgen) are hosting the wedding of her cousin Leopold (Jose Ferrer) and Ariel (Mia Farrow). It's only a small ceremony made up of those four and Andrew's friend Maxwell (Tony Roberts) and his guest Dulcy (Julie Hagerty). Though it starts off as a peaceful weekend in the country, and they all appear quite happy, not everything is as it seems.

Andrew and Adrian's sex life is on the rocks, and they're both starting to get on each other's nerves. Adrian seeks sex advice from the fast Dulcy, who's come up so she can sleep around with Maxwell. Maxwell, who had every intention to sleep with Dulcy, now finds himself madly in love with Ariel. Ariel is beginning to have second thoughts about marring Leopold, because she regrets not pursuing a relationship with Andrew. Andrew, while lamenting his sex life, is trying to defend his interest in inventions to Leopold. Meanwhile, Leopold is finding himself enamored with Dulcy, wanting to have a quick affair right before his marriage so that he doesn't commit adultery after marriage.

Tied together with Felix Mendelssohn's famous A Midsummer Night's Dream and several comic montages, A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy is not one of Woody's best films. On the other hand, Woody not at his best is better than a lot of others at their best. The individual storylines only seem to work if the viewer likes each individual character. I didn't care much for Maxwell, or Tony Robert's performance, and found myself wanting to get back to another storyline every time he came on screen. Then again, others love his character - the movie only works as much as the viewer is enjoying it. That said, I can't recommend this Woody film the same way I can Annie Hall or Sleeper. There are films you can watch and not enjoy, but still acknowledge their brilliance - this isn't one of them.

The transfer on this disc fair, just about as good as most of Woody's films on DVD. Though presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, detailing is pretty bad. Dark scenes are almost pitch black. While the colors are nice, and flesh tones are accurate, there are a lot of scratches on the print. The audio track is in mono, and presents the dialogue accurately, though it does sound a little tinny at times. The only extra presented on the disc is a trailer in anamorphic widescreen.

This DVD, like most of Woody's other DVDs, is mainly for the hardcore fans who love his films so much that they don't care about extras. But for those who aren't fans per se, it makes for an unimpressive disc that's only worth a rent if you're looking for a light comedy about relationships.

Graham Greenlee

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