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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> February 1998 >> Mighty Aphrodite

Mighty Aphrodite

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
4 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
February 1998
IMDB Name:
Mighty Aphrodite (1995)
Woody Allen
comedy, romance
MPAA Rating:
R for language and sex-related material.

What can you say about a movie that has a Greek Chorus? Wait, that sounds too negative. Let's try "How many movies do you know that have a Greek Chorus but can still make you smile?" Woody Allen recognizes the strangeness of Lenny Weinrib's plight, and treats it appropriately. The Chorus opens the movie, making strange half- modern, half-classic comments about relationships gone awry. The goofiness of the speech sets the tone for an intelligent comedy. The chorus is also a way for Allen to write his character, recycled in every one of his movies that I can think of, into a situation where he doesn't seem quite the same. The vocalization of his inner turmoil, silly though the phrasing is, lessens the feeling that this is just another stock Woody Allen movie. Of course, the chorus is also there to lend a hand, as when F. Murray Abraham , the chorus leader, steadies a piece of paper for Lenny to scribble down some information while on the phone.

Mira Sorvino makes the movie. She does a bimbo voice that somehow doesn't grate on the nerves after hearing it for a few minutes. She's sincere, she's funny, and she has fun with the role. I'm glad that she won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for the part, but I can't fathom why the awards were given for a "supporting role". To my eye, she's on screen more than Helena Bonham Carter, and she's much more central to the plot and the aura of the movie.

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Copyright 1998-2002 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.