Review: Mighty Aphrodite (1995)

aphrodite1

Either Mira Sorvino is really tall or Woody Allen is insanely short!

Written By: Woody Allen
Directed By: Woody Allen

With Mighty Aphrodite I have finally found a Woody Allen film that I don’t like. It’s not a bad film, but it isn’t a good film either. Movies like Melinda And Melinda as well as Shadows And Fog are in the same vein as Mighty Aphrodite, but the difference is that Mighty Aphrodite has no story pull or cinematic flare I care for. Those movies at least tried something different, or I should say, something different that worked. Mighty Aphrodite tries something new amidst a sea of standard Allen film making.

The Greek chorus is that something new and different, and it’s also that something different that doesn’t work. Every time they come on the screen the movie skids to a halt. The Greek interludes aren’t funny, they don’t advance the story, they aren’t even the least bit interesting. They feel like a giant waste of time and an area where the film could have have been exploring something else, something that would have helped to enrich the lame duck story.

There’s no need for a long list of the problems in Mighty Aphrodite, the end result of the film provides all the summation you could need on its faults. Helena Bonham-Carter’s character barely exists, she certainly doesn’t register in the mind of the audience. Yet, in the end after she has failed to make any connection with the viewer Allen ends up back together with her and we are supposed to somehow take this as a fulfilling ending. If Bonham-Carter’s character had been the least bit fleshed out or seemed to matter in any way then the ending would have worked, but as is it merely rings hollow.

I did like the absurdity of Mira Sorvino’s character, her frank nature in regards to sex is not something seen all that often in Woody Allen movies. Her take on the character was interesting, not great mind you, but interesting. Outside of that there were some funny moments, and the story was decent, but it’s something we’ve seen many times before. I really don’t understand the casting of Michael Rapaport. I love the guy, but he’s way too New York to pull off a bumpkin farmer.

Mighty Aphrodite marks a considerable step down for Woody Allen. It’s not all that funny and when it is it’s humor that we’ve experienced many times before with Mr. Allen. Sorvino’s performance was much ballyhooed, but it’s not good enough to warrant a viewing of this movie. Not even the preposterous idea of Helena Bonham-Carter marrying a guy like Woody Allen is enough for someone to, oh, wait, there is that Tim Burton guy I always forget about…

Rating:

**1/2

Cheers,
Bill

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