What do women want? Well, science may debate that for years, but Hysteria provides a very entertaining answer in the form of a historical romp through early psychology. Based on the story of a young British doctor who essentially invented the first vibrator, Hysteria
handles its offbeat subject matter lightly and amusingly. And its cast is splendid.
Maggie Gyllenhaal and Felicity Jones play Victorian-era sisters, Charlotte and Emily, daughters of the prominent physician Dr. Dalrymple (Jonathan Pryce). Into their lives comes an ambitious, thoughtful young doctor, Mortimer Granville (played by the dreamy Hugh Dancy). Dr. Granville's life work has become focused on women's issues, including the all-encompassing diagnosis "hysteria," for which he is experimenting with therapeutic "pelvic massage" treatments. When he comes to Dr. Dalrymple for mentoring and approval of his rather unorthodox treatments, the doctor's two daughters vie for his romantic affections.
In lesser hands, this film could have been a Victorian-era 40-Year-Old Virgin or The (Sexual) Hangover, but director Tanya Wexler keeps the action crisp, light, and focused. Hysteria is a great date movie or a splendid escape for history, and hysteria, lovers. --A.T. Hurley
, a mischievously inspired romantic comedy set in the late 19th century, is based on the surprising truth of how Mortimer Granville came up with the world's first electromechanical vibrator in the name of medical science.
• Deleted scenes
• Commentary with Director Tanya Wexler
• An Evening with Tanya Wexler, Hugh Dancy and Jonathan Pryce
• Featurettes: - Hysteria: Behind the Scenes
- Passion & Power: The Technology of Orgasm
Special features on the DVD include deleted scenes, commentary with Director Tanya Wexler, a Q&A with Tanya Wexler, Hugh Dancy and Jonathan Pryce as well as deleted scenes and two additional features, including a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Hysteria