Review: A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (1982)

midsummer

I go back for more Woody, oh, that sounds so wrong, yet it’s so right!

Written By: Woody Allen
Directed By: Woody Allen

I don’t know why I like Woody Allen as a filmmaker as much as I do. He views love as a transient being, able to be tossed around as if it doesn’t even matter. Most of his movies deal not with love but with relationships where love is in the background shying away from peeking over the table top for fear of being hit in the face by an errant frying pan. Every once in a while he puts relationships either on the same level or just behind love and I never agree with his take on love. I go back to the term transient, because that is the best word to describe how Woody feels about love. Love isn’t a lasting thing for him, it doesn’t have much substance, you can see that in his writing and in his characters. Despite all this I love, oh what a phrasing conundrum, the man’s work and continually go back to see his latest and past projects.

My love of Woody’s films despite our different takes on love speaks to a few different things. First and foremost you need not agree with what a filmmaker has to say, too often we, and I include myself in that we, fall into the trap of knee jerk reactions to ideas in films that we don’t agree with. But, we don’t need to agree, as long as the presentation is good enough and we are given something to think about there is no need for agreement. Secondly, and maybe most importantly, Woody makes films that I like, a lot. A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy isn’t among his best, but it is still a film that I liked with many typical Woody touches that brought a smile to my face.

In a way A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy is different from other Woody fare and much the same. It’s not concerned with delving deeply into its philosophical questions or even the driving quandary of love. It is consistent of a Woody film to tackle such ideas, but by not fully exploring them it is different and somewhat shallow. A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy isn’t a meaty picture, there isn’t much here for you to chew on, but there is enough to leave you somewhat content. A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy is funny and that is a Woody specialty, although it’s very lighthearted in its comedy. Still, it is funny, I found myself laughing more often than not, and that is a standard of most Woody Allen pictures.

It isn’t a long hidden gem or anything like that, but A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy is a not often talked about Woody Allen feature that is worth a gander. It’s a bit of a picture at a crossroads, struggling to combine Woody’s existential leanings with his need to be neurotic and funny. It succeeds in some sports and fails in others, much like Andrew’s inventions. I may not agree with how the man views love but I continue going back to his pictures, and provided you don’t suffer a heart attack while having vicious sex tomorrow, you should give A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy a shot as well.

Rating:

***

Cheers,
Bill

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