[1] - imdb.com

[2] - www.EveryWoodyAllenMovie.com

[3] - Turner Movie Classics

[4] - Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mighty_Aphrodite

[5] - Maslin, Janet (1995-10-27). "''New York Times'' review". Movies.nytimes.com.

[6] - "Chicago Sun-Times'' review. Rogerebert.suntimes.com.

[7] - Garchik, Leah (1995-10-27). "''San Francisco Chronicle'' review". Sfgate.com.

[8] - Peter Travers for Rolling Stone

[9] - McCarthy, Todd (1995-09-03). Variety.com.

[10] - The Unruly Life of Woody Allen by Marion Meade

Critical Reception

 

-I was influenced by popular notions, snarky asides and half-read reviews — most of which left me under the assumption that Allen’s late-period films were reductive, lazy, and offensive. I think this skewed my perspective and gave me an unfairly dismissive attitude towards the works of Allen’s senior years. [2]

 

-Allen combines the thoughtful dialogue of his late-’80s films with the comic flair of his early-’70s movies. Based on plot descriptions, I thought the ‘90s were going to be fairly schizophrenic, but so far, all the movies are remarkably similar in tone and style. This is an era far more enjoyable, if less significant, than his preceding block of serious films — it lacks the intellectual highs, but also the dreary lows. [2]

 

In her review in The New York Times, Janet Maslin said, "Even when it becomes unmistakably lightweight, Mighty Aphrodite remains witty, agile and handsomely made." [5]

 

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called the film "a sunny comedy" and added, "The movie's closing scene is quietly, sweetly ironic, and the whole movie skirts the pitfalls of cynicism and becomes something the Greeks could never quite manage, a potential tragedy with a happy ending." [6]

 

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Leah Garchik said the film was "an inventive movie, imaginative and rich in detail" and added, "Woody Allen's incredible wit is at the heart of all that's wonderful in Mighty Aphrodite, and Woody Allen's incredible ego is at the core of its major flaw . . . He fails when he attempts . . . to get the audience to suspend its disbelief and accept Allen, a withered Romeo, as a sweet-natured naif. The crotchety charm of the shy and awkward characters he played as a young man has worn off; nowadays, he comes across as just plain crotchety." [7]

 

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone said, "The film is a showcase for Sorvino, actor Paul's Harvard-grad daughter, who gives a sensational performance. She shows startling humor and heart without trading on sentiment." [8]

 

In Variety, Todd McCarthy described the film as "a zippy, frothy confection that emerges as agreeable middle-range Woody . . . There is perhaps a bit too much of the chorus galavanting about delivering their increasingly colloquial admonitions and too few convulsive laughs, but the writer-director has generally pitched the humor at a pleasing and relatively consistent level . . . The film's biggest surprise, and attraction, is Sorvino . . . [who] goes way beyond the whore-with-a-heart-of-gold externals of the part in developing a deeply sympathetic and appealing character. None of the diverse roles she has done to date would have suggested her for this part, but this gutsy performance will put her much more prominently on the map." [9]

 

-Woody Allen was nominated for “Best Original Screenplay” for the 12th time, which officially made him the most Oscar-nominated screenwriter of all time. [2]

 

-Even with the Oscar, the picture bombed at the box office with a gross of $6.7 million, a plunge of $7 million from Bullets Over Broadway.[10]

-Released on October 27, 1995 [1], November 3, 1995,  November 10, 1995; Full Release on January 11, 1996 [1]

-Runtime: 95 min

-Rated R

-Production Company: Sweetland Films (A Jean Doumanian Production), Miramax Films

-Distributor: Miramax Films

-Budget: $15,000,000 (estimated),

-Gross: $6.7 million [1], $4,814,453 [3] and $19,598,703 in foreign markets for a total worldwide box office of $26,000,000. [4]

-Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1

 

"Mighty Aphrodite" Screening Companion

-Desperate for a hit, [Woody] began to robotically recycle and cannibalize his old movies while competing in an increasingly sex-oriented film marketplace. Being regarded by a new generation of filmmakers as a dusty old museum piece petrified him. [10]

 

-Beginning with Mighty Aphrodite in 1995 and continuing through Deconstructing Harry and Celebrity, [Woody] made a series of films that are best described as his Hooker-Fellatio Trilogy. These three pictures present a parade of female characters who are whores (professional or amateur), nymphomaniacs, or psychotics. [10]

Mira Sorvino

 

-In a 2005 interview with "Vanity Fair", Woody Allen stated that even after their bitter and much-publicized breakup, he considered casting Mia Farrow as his wife Amanda, saying that he believed she would be the best actress for the role. In response to this, his casting director Juliet Taylor replied, "What, are you nuts?" [1]

 

-Cameron Diaz was considered for the role of Linda Ash. [1]

 

-Mira Sorvino auditioned for the part in New York and didn’t get it. Allen then went to London to audition some British actresses, and Sorvino showed up again, this time in full costume, and got the part on her second try. [2]

 

-Mira Sorvino mentioned in a 2011 interview that she chose Linda's voice to be high and gravelly since "high voice kind of makes you sound less intellectually gifted, and the gravelly part just added this kind of rough-and-tumble, been-to-the-school-of-hard-knocks element to it." Four weeks into the production, Allen spoke with Sorvino asking if she had ever wondered about using a different voice. Sorvino stated that the voice affected how she approcahed the character, and that if she changed the voice the character changed. She pointed out that they were four weeks into the movie, Allen said "Oh, that doesn’t matter. I have it written into my budget that I can reshoot the entire movie if I want." [4]

 

-According to Mira Sorvino, after a month of filming, Woody Allen wanted her to change the high-pitched voice she was using for her character but she refused. [1]

 

Mira Sorvino won an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress, both of which Dianne Wiest had won the year before for Bullets Over Broadway. [2]

Plot Origins

 

-Woody had often wondered about the origins of his adopted daughter. To be so intelligent and charming, he decided, Dylan must have inherited “good genes.” It was no coincidence that this ongoing obsession with the child kindled the story for his next movie. [10]

 

-…The point of Woody’s narrative-sometimes the women who putt up their babies for adoption are prostitutes-angered adoption agencies. The director of Spence Chapin Adoption Agency noted that adopted children have fantasies about their birth parents, and Might Aphrodite only “feeds into the message that your birth parent in bad.” [10]

 

-By ironic coincidence, the same year that Woody was filming Might Aphrodite, a Texas paroled convict clainmed that he was Dylan’s father. The sixty-year-old man insisted that he was born to his common-law wife while both of them were in prison and given up for adoption without his consent. After letters to Mia threatening to “recapture” Dylan and promising “bloodshed” if she was not handed over, the parolee was arrested in Louisiana and returned to prison. [10]

Trivia

 

-Allen had originally planned to use the Greek chorus idea in a movie version of his short story Retribution, which was about a man falling in love with his mother. He later decided against adapting Retribution, and used it here, when he noticed that the story was starting to resemble Greek theater. [2]

 

-Claire Bloom only has 10 lines. [1]

 

The scenes at the amphitheater were shot in Sicily, and they’re the first things Woody Allen has shot outside of America’s Eastern seaboard since Love and Death, 20 years earlier. [2]

 

-After its limited release in October 1995, Mira Sorvino received her Academy Award nomination. When it was released nationally in January of 1996 the television ads for the film was re-edited to make it seem that Sorvino's character was on the telephone thanking the Academy for the nomination. [1]

 

-At Belmont Park, Linda calls Lenny (Woody Allen) "Woody." [1]

-One of the only Woody Allen films that differs in its style of credits. Despite the credits being set in the usual Windsor typeface, at the end of the film, they are superimposed on top of the chorus dancing. After the image fades to black, the credits scroll instead of being still. [1]

 

-Olympia Dukakis only speaks 3 lines and barely appears for 1 minute despite having principle billing on the poster. [1]

 

-In the scene where the football practice is taking place, one of the players in shorts, T-shirt and a baseball cap is legendary 49ers quarterback Joe Montana. [1]