A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (1982)

It’s possible that no American movie has been as besotted with the sensual realities of summertime as this overlooked Woody Allen comedy, in which three early-century couples gather together, in a to-die-for Victorian country house, to enjoy a balmy weekend and endure various mate-swapping peccadilloes. Light on its feet, with a charming score by Felix Mendelssohn, and blessed with the effervescence of Mary Steenburgen and Julie Hagerty, Allen’s movie goes for broke in terms of seasonal glamour: sunlit meadows, firefly swarms, moonlit brooks, rendezvous in the night forest, dining al fresco, daydreaming in cotton dresses, suspenders and straw hats—all of it shot with Vermeerian sublimity by Gordon Willis. Well worth repeat viewings; it’s time this honey got a reappraisal.

Cover of "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy&...
Cover of A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy

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