Film Review: HYSTERIA is feminist fun in the Victorian age

Guest host, Yolanda Shoshana and today’s panelists, Tina Lee Jones, Abbey Weitz and Gloria Messer sit down for a spot of tea and fish and chips at Queen Vic’s British Pub in the East Village to discuss and review the delightful British romantic comedy, “Hysteria.”

If you are in need of endless laughs sprinkled with a bit of feminist history, this one’s for you. Inspired by true events, the British romantic comedy, “Hysteria,” is written by Howard Gensler and Stephen and Jonah Lisa Dryer. This film takes a riotous look into London during the Victorian era and the presumed incidents that lead to the accidental invention of the first vibrator.

The story follows two doctors, Dr. Robert Dalrymple (Jonathan Pryce) and Dr. Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy) who specialize in the treatment of an amorphous female condition called, Hysteria.  It was considered a catch all term for “all things feminine”  ranging from nervousness, depression and other such feelings. The treatment in mild cases was a massage stimulating a “paroxysm” (can you say spell Dr. Feelgood??) but in cases considered to be more extreme, a hysterectomy was performed often followed by a life spent in a mental institution.

This production includes talents from both sides of the pond. It is directed by female American, Tanya Wexler (who is also the half-sister of actress, Daryl Hannah), while the majority of its brilliant cast is British. Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett (my dear sir, where have you hiding lately?) and dreamboat float, Hugh Dancy all portray their characters in this Victoria era period piece (comedy with a capital “C”) with precision. But the Belle of this Ball is none other than American actress, Maggie Gylllenhaal. She is a force to be reckoned with here. If there was just one woman of this era who truly possessed the spirit of this character, we all stand proudly on her shoulders.

Shot in Luxembourg and England, the costumes and cinematography are so vibrant, you will not only do you want to jump into them, but, a quick trip to the old country will be in order as well. Laden with laughs and amusing tension, “Hysteria,” is….I have to say it, hysterical. Some have unfortunately compared it to the Tony-nominated Broadway play, “In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)” which had a successful run a few years ago. But, don’t be deterred, there’s room for everyone. You will root, cheer and pat yourself on the back, cause, ladies… we’ve come a lo-o-o-o-ong way.

Be sure not to miss the closing credits, there’s a fascinating history lesson there that will daze and amaze you.

More About our Fabulous Panel
Wise Girl is a brand new melodic rock outfit crafted and fronted by songwriter, Abby Weitz, hailing from the heart of Manhattan, New York.  A native New Yorker, Weitz earlier led the adrenaline-fueled punk group, the Lookaways, which became known for playing notorious clubs around the city such as Sin-E, Lit Lounge, Don Hill’s, including the legendary CBGB’s, as well as playing the Van’s Warped Tour.

Wise Girl has recently been playing notable NYC venues, performing at CMJ Music Marathon 2010 and 2011, and is soon being featured live on the national television show, Beta TV, which airs on all the major networks around the country and reaches into 101 million homes.  After this taping, they plan to hit the studio again.

Kate Spade has featured Wise Girl on their website and blog as a runner up in a battle of the bands contest to open for The Vivian girls at their SXSW showcase and they have also been chosen as one of the 15 bands to represent Manhattan in New York’s “Battle of the Boroughs.”

Stay posted for the date of the TV broadcast and the upcoming release of their debut EP.Stream their music at:

Dedicated, determined, ambitious and a go-getter are words used to describe Ms. Tina Lee Jones! These traits have brought this chic and edgy actress from her hometown of Houston, Texas to Harlem, New York. She is a Southern Belle, with the sassiness of a bona fide Harlem-nite. The excitement of the big city along with the constant energy that fills New York is the perfect backdrop for Tina’s biggest role… her life. God has big plans for her, and her calling is to venture out to the stage.

She has worked with the legendary Tony Bennett at RPM Music, Russell Simmons and on such events as the Hip-Hop Action Network Summit. She has landed commercial leads for BET Network as well as roles in such films as, “My Obsessed Tenant,” and “The Bad Sister,” and  stage work  in “Love and Hilarity.” T-Shirt connoisseur is a new title as she’s now the owner/creator of the “GOAL DIGGER” T-Shirt which can be purchased at on her site. Tina was recently featured on, MXO, Pull Magazine, Voice It Magazine and Just Say It Magazine.
Learn more about her at:

Gloria Messer has been producing, directing and editing film and video since 1991. Over this period of time, she has produced well over 10,000 productions. She is also the Producer and Director of Access For All, a public advocacy program airing on Time Warner Cable, MNN Channel 34, Tuesdays at 9:30 am.
You can view her works at:

Yolanda Shoshana “Shoshi” is a lifestyle provocateur who is a multi-platform media personality, luscious life guru, lifestyle journalist, matchmaker, perfume creatrix, and speaker living in New York City known as the Luscious Lifestyle Diva.

Shoshi graduated from The College of Santa Fe with a BFA in theater with the aspiration to become the next Whoopi Goldberg, but her life’s journey led her down a different path.  Self growth and following her bliss has always been a key part of her life. Shoshi followed her entrepreneur spirit by starting a lifestyle company that engages the senses to help women live lusciously and bring back the virtues of the courtesans. She is the founder of the School of Courtisane Moderne, a modern day courtesan school which teaches women the art of seduction. She also is the creatrix of an oil based perfume line called, Modern Courtesan by YS helps women leave their signature by scent!

Shoshi has a popular online radio show, “The Luscious Life” on You can still find a rerun of show on iTunes. Also, on Sundays have gotten sexier with Shoshi’s online lifestyle show, Courtesan Candy, which brings her online magazine, Modern Courtesan Magazine, to life.  She is a food enthusiast, clothing junkie, and chocoholic that lives and rocks it in Harlem.

Learn more about her at:

Find out more about Queen Vic’s British Pub.

Learn more about today’s film, “Hysteria.








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