Film Scouts Reviews

"Mighty Aphrodite"

by Kathleen Carroll

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Sept. 14, 1995

Subways rarely figure in Woody Allen's movies in that his typically upscale New York characters would, frankly, never be caught dead in anything less than a cab. Certainly that's true of the married couple in the director's latest rib-tickling comedy of marital and other human errors. Played by Allen Lenny Weinrib is a fretful non-violent sportswriter married to a pert Soho gallery owner (Helena Bonham Carter) who insists that they adopt a baby boy. Anxious to find an explanation for his son's brilliance Lenny tracks down the boy's natural mother only to find that she's a porn star and a part-time call girl.

Speaking in the high-pitched tone of a drag queen Mira Sorvino is hilariously dizzy as the fallen woman Lenny hopes to save. One wishes that the charming Carter had been given more to do but her character is all but ignored. What Allen does do in this straight comedy is to gently poke fun at the all the dramatic conventions of Greek tragedy. A Greek chorus, led by F. Murray Abraham, anticipates all the action. A member of the chorus line introduces herself as Cassandra before claiming to see "divorce" in Lenny's future. It may not be as well developed as Allen's "Bullets Over Broadway" but this is surely the most enjoyable Greek Revival comedy ever made.

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