Never have I been so bored with a Woody Allen film as I was with 1982’s A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy. The film, an obvious take off of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, offers up a solid cast yet a story and script that bring no life into the characters. Allen does step out of New York City for this period piece and the surroundings are stunning. I only wish the film was able to produce something closer to his more famous work.
The plot of the film involves three couples spending an evening at the secluded home of Allen’s character Andrew and his wife Adrian, played by Mary Steenburgen. The three couples, Andrew and Adrian, Maxwell (Tony Roberts) and Dulcy (Julie Hagerty), and Leopold (Jose Ferrer) and Ariel (Mia Farrow) have dinner and discuss life while enjoying this break from 1900’s New York City. Leopold and Ariel are to be married the following day and it’s revealed that Ariel and Andrew once had a brief relationship that could have been much more. The other storylines are fairly insignificant as Ariel’s three suitors Leopold, Andrew, and Maxwell all attempt to win her heart with a fairly predictable ending that leaves the audience wanting.
As I mentioned, this is a rare Woody Allen film where I felt like the script wasn’t up to par. The characters felt like types instead of people and I wasn’t that interested in what they had to say. Normally with the more modern settings, Allen is able to write a script that’s specific yet universal. However, with this period piece tale, the script feels stiff and made for a pretty uninteresting hour and a half.