In Mighty Aphrodite, Woody Allen borrows from and parodies Greek tragedy. The plot with its ironic twists and leaps of fate mimics the Greek form and Allen has considerable fun with his Greek chorus who hilariously toss modern colloquialisms in amidst their poetry. There are a number of amusingly fantastique moments with Allen trying to explain himself to chorus member F. Murray Abraham who is trying to intervene on the side of fate; Jack Warden as a blind seer; and amusing gags about prayers to Zeus that only reach a stentorious answer phone. Mighty Aphrodite was one of Woody Allens most enjoyable and warmly funny in some time the ending with the chorus bursting into a song and dance number as the credits roll bursts with a life and ebullience not to be found in any other Woody Allen film.
Contrarily, Woody Allen plays himself at possibly the most neurotic, nervous and unhappy we have seen him in a screen performance yet he had just split with Mia Farrow and she was publicly dragging his name through the mud in a big way, so he is perhaps to be excused. On the other hand, there is a simply marvellous performance from Mira Sorvino (Paul Sorvinos daughter). She has been written in as almost the complete opposed of Woody Allens usual persona thoroughly unselfconscious, carefree and sexually extroverted. Sorvino plays the part with hilarious abandon (although the shrill voice does weary on ones nerves after a time). The scene where Allen goes to visit her for the first time is absolutely side-splitting. Mira Sorvino deservedly won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress that year.
Woody Allen has a big-name cast on hand although many of the names listed on the credits, such as Claire Bloom, Olympia Dukakis and David Ogden Stiers, are undetectable amongst the Greek chorus. In a flatteringly implausible move, Allen casts then 29-year old Helena Bonham Carter as his wife a relationship that had a thirty-one year disparity in real life. (For some reason Allen also names his character after Lennie Weinrib, a veteran voiceover actor in numerous cartoons and the writer of tvs H.R. Pufnstuf [1969-73]).
Woody Allens other genre films are: Play It Again Sam (1972), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972), Sleeper (1973), Love and Death (1975), A Midsummer Nights Sex Comedy (1982), Zelig (1983), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), New York Stories (1989), Alice (1990), Shadows and Fog (1992), Everyone Says I Love You (1996), Deconstructing Harry (1997), Match Point (2005), Scoop (2006), Midnight in Paris (2011), To Rome with Love (2012) and Magic in the Moonlight (2014).