A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy
Woody seems to have set out to make nothing more than a light entertainment here, a bon-bon, a fantasy, and that’s just what he delivered. Woody is an inventor who floats around in a couple of flying machines that obviously could never get off the ground. Six people gather around the turn of the century—1900—for a weekend at a swell old house. Jose Ferrer is a blowhard philosopher that reminded me of his part in Ship of Fools. He is going to marry Mia Farrow (her first of many appearances in Woody’s movies), but the other guests have other ideas. There are assignations in the woods, misunderstandings, new romances formed and old ones rekindled. It is not a comic farce, though some of it is funny. Actually, I’d say it was pretty forgettable, though the acting by all concerned—Tony Roberts, Mary Steenburgen, Julie Hagerty—is very good, as always. I had always thought it was somehow based on the Shakespeare play, but it seems it was based on one of Bergman’s lighter films, Smiles of a Summer Night, which was also the basis for Sondheim’s A Little Night Music.