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Film / Mighty Aphrodite

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Woody Allen wrote, directed and starred in this 1995 comedy.

When he discovers his adopted son is a genius, a New York sportswriter (played by Allen) seeks out the boy's birth mother: a prostitute (Mira Sorvino, who won an Academy Award for her role).

This film provides examples of:

  • Brainless Beauty: Linda, the Dumb Blonde prostitute is played by the shapely Mira Sorvino.
  • The Cassandra:
    Lenny: Oh for God's sake, you're such a Cassandra!
    Cassandra: I am not "such a Cassandra". I am Cassandra!
  • The Ditz: The prostitute and the her Distaff Counterpart that Lenny set her up with, an onion farmer.
  • Doting Parent: Lenny often boasts about his son's intelligence, wondering why the Mother isn't like him.
  • Greek Chorus: Comments on Lenny's situation.
  • Happy Ending: A "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue montage to the song "When You're Smiling". Even the pimp and his enforcer have one, enjoying the court seats for Knicks games that Lenny promised.
  • Historical In-Joke: Many, such as a Funny Background Event of Oedipus wandering around with his hands outstretched, bumping into things.
    Chorus: Look, here's a man who killed his father and slept with his mother.
    Jocasta: I hate to tell you what they call my son in Harlem.
  • Interactive Narrator: Lenny converses with the Greek Chorus leader (F. Murray Abraham).
  • Irony: Linda has Lenny's child and Lenny doesn't know. Lenny has Linda's child, and Linda doesn't know.
  • Kavorka Man: Lenny, because he was with Linda and Amanda.
  • Lamarck Was Right: Lenny's friends all tell him that his son's natural mother must be a genius because his son is. Linda immediately relieves Lenny of that idea.
  • Magic Realism: Loads of it. For example, it's foretold Lenny would receive bad news from the blind seer Tiresias at The Acropolis. Tiresias, a blind homeless guy played by Jack Warden, in front of a Greek restaurant called Acropolis.
  • Meaningful Name: Linda means "pretty" in Spanish. Linda points this out to Lenny.
  • My Greatest Failure: Linda reveals giving Max up for adoption was something she never wanted to do, and deeply regrets into being convinced to do it.
  • No Social Skills: Linda gleefully and with no intentional malice calls Lenny a loser, which is the reason she's attracted to him (for some reason), not the only inappropriate remark.
    Linda: (showing Lenny an antique watch) See, as the mainspring goes back and forth, the bishop keeps fucking her in the ass!
  • Pen Name: Lenny's film star interest has many humourous ones: Leslie Wright, Leslie Wales, Leslie St James, Linda Ash, and Judy Cum.
    Lenny: ... Judy Cum?!
  • Punny Title: Mighty Aphrodite, which more than a few reviews stated was "groanworthy".
  • Would Hit a Girl: The onion farmer/boxer, much to his deep regret.