Rated 2.0

Hysteria: This film tells the story of Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy) and his participation in the invention of the first vibrator as a means of curing female “hysteria” in the late 1800s. Fed up with working for doctors who still peddle leeches and don’t believe in germs, Granville goes to work for Dr. Robert Dalrymple (Jonathan Pryce), who basically runs a clinic that gets women off using his hands. When Granville no longer can cure his patients because of hand cramps, he’s dismissed, only to return when his friend Edmund St. John-Smythe (Rupert Everett) converts his electric feather duster into, essentially, a sex toy. Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as Charlotte Dalrymple, the doctor’s daughter and rebel working to help the poor and occasionally punch cops in the face. The film has an uninteresting romance between her and Granville. Things get off to a funny and spirited start, but it peters out in the end, culminating with a courtroom drama that feels stale.