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HD   R Closed Captioning

Tanya Wexler

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About the Movie

In an age of invention, one man set out to find a medical cure for what ails women…and accidentally electrified our love lives forever. HYSTERIA is a lighthearted romantic comedy that tells the surprising story of the birth of the electro-mechanical vibrator at the very peak of Victorian prudishness. Academy Award® nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal (CRAZY HEART, NANNY McPHEE RETURNS) and Hugh Dancy (ADAM, CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC) lead an accomplished cast in this untold tale of discovery.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 124
  • Fresh: 71
  • Rotten: 53
  • Average Rating: 5.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: The problem with "Hysteria" is that it keeps patting itself and us on the back for knowing better. – Ty Burr, Boston Globe, Jun 7, 2012

Rotten: The movie also makes all the right noises about female sexual liberation. But its good intentions are undermined by sniggering jokes... – Rafer Guzman, Newsday, Jun 1, 2012

Fresh: Good vibrations all around. – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer, May 31, 2012

Fresh: Director Tanya Wexler plays things broadly at times, but "Hysteria" has good fun with history while coming off far more wholesome than salacious. – Tom Long, Detroit News, Jun 15, 2012

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Entertaining and Educational Film

While I often agree with the Rotten Tomatoes critical reviews and ratings, this time - they are way off.

Gyllenhall delivers an incredible performance, and to boot - her feigned British accent was impeccable. And although Gyllenhall played very similar characters in the film Mona Lisa Smile and Away We Go, even though she was clearly typecast into the ensemble -- it is clear the role was made for her as she elegantly embodies her character, Charlotte's, vivacious, activist persona ever so well.

Her costar, Hugh Dancy, also delivered - as did the small but vital role of Rupert Everett. Yes, the characters and the like were a little stereotypical and expected, but such is the nature of storytelling such as this. Much in the same vein as films like Becoming Jane (Anne Hathaway) and Pride & Prejudice (Keira Knightly), the films offered whimsy and light to such a tough era in England's history.

And on that note, the film opens with the statement that it is "Based on a True Story" (which I always love - well executed entertainment plus education is always a winner in my book) - so the factual history was itself enough for me to be taken into the film wholly. But aside from that fact, overall, the script, directing, casting, set and costume design, and cinematography made this film a success and a welcomed departure from the banal summer blockbuster film variety. Smart story, great movie. Worth the money!

Thoroughly enjoyable

A lightweight comedy with great acting and periodic laughs. Just fine on a Sunday afternoon.

Get over it...

Bothered by the word 'Socialist'? You cannot escape the fact you are supported daily by socialist ideals and practices. Refuse the idea of equal rights for women–get fover it! This movie encompases the realization men come to when confronted with the hypocricy of their relationships. Get over it!

What a refreshing ride–and what a deliciously mind-opening experience.

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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Released: 2011

Customer Ratings