Mighty Aphrodite

Bomb Rating: 

I have to admit, this movie made me laugh. Not three minutes into the film there's Lenny (Woody Allen) sitting next to his wife, Amanda (Helena Bonham Carter).

I had to laugh. You see, if you don't laugh, the alternative is shaking with incredible pain just before your head explodes like in "Scanners." The cause? The little mental tennis match going on inside your head as your eyes dart back and forth from Woody to Helena, from Helena to Woody, begging the question, "What whacked-out alternate universe did this marriage take place in and where's the transporter I use to get there?"

This being a thought-provoking film, however, it begs other, more serious questions such as: What's the deal with Helena Bonham Carter's eye shadow? It gets darker as the film progresses. By the end she looks like Al Jolson. Second, is the role of idiot the only one Michael Rapaport is capable of playing? One imagines casting directors walking around Hollywood going, "We need an idiot. What's Michael Rapaport up to?"

As Woody Allen is the intellectual's Michael Jackson, the start of the film, in which Amanda and Lenny discuss adoption, proves immediately alarming. Fortunately, they adopt a boy, which begins a period of happiness in their lives. But since this is a Woody Allen film, there's always some kind of neurosis waiting around the corner like a pipe-wielding mugger. Lenny's comes when he decides to track down their son's biological mother, who turns out to be a prostitute named Linda (Mira Sorvino).

It's fine to make Mira Sorvino's character an oddball, but her voice is grating enough to drive the Pope to give up praying for masturbation. Woody could have achieved the same symphonic effect by throwing a dozen angry alley cats against a blackboard and hitting me in the face with a two by four.

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