The new movie Hysteria answers an age old question, what do women want most? Based on a historic moment in the 1880’s when a particular contraption for the alleviation of women’s non specific ailments (unhappiness, indigestion, the desire for equality, the right to vote, freedom) was invented, this romantic comedy features an early feminist Charlotte Dalrymple (Maggie Gyllenhaal), her conventional sister Emily (Felicity Jones), their provincial father (Jonathan Pryce), and a young progressive doctor Mortimer Granville played by Hugh Dancy with an easy touch. In the employ of Dr. Dalrymple, he learns to apply just the right manual pressure to give suffering women “paroxysms,” never to be confused with sexual pleasure. With the help of a nutty inventor (Rupert Everett), an electronic device was made available for home use. Despite the eh, explosive nature of this subject, this delightful movie is titillating, yet chaste.
At Hotel Chanelle, a Peggy Siegal party co-sponsored by Jimmyjane, ensued, guests abuzz with anticipation: What was in those white bags? Celebrants went home with vibrators, which in lieu of Hugh himself, would just have to do.