Movie of the Day

Mighty Aphrodite

OK, continuing to go back through the Woody Allen films I haven’t seen more than once. I had thought of Mighty Aphrodite as one of my least favorites by Allen, but enjoyed it this time around.

Woody Allen experimented with transplanting a Greek chorus into a modern setting in his play from the ’70s, God, and recast himself in the role of Socrates at his trial in his satiric short story “My Apology.” In Mighty Aphrodite, Allen does another modern/classical story, complete with Greek chorus led by F. Murray Abraham. The modern day story is Greek as well, with two couples unknowingly raising each others’ children, and shades of Pygmalion, as Woody Allen’s character is dismayed that the biological mother of his adopted child prodigy is an airhead porn star. The scene of the Greek chorus delivering lines such as “Lenny, don’t be a schmuck” are not quite as funny as they were probably planned to be, but every frame with Mira Sorvino in it is funny, and the light-hearted ending is fun.

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