Mighty Aphrodite

Critics Consensus

Mighty Aphrodite may not stand with Woody Allen's finest work, but it's brought to vivid life by a thoroughly winsome performance from Mira Sorvino.



Reviews Counted: 35

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 21,084


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.4/5

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Movie Info

A dissatisfied Manhattan sportswriter finds more than he expected when he searches for the biological mother of his adopted child in Woody Allen's comedy. Writer-director Allen also plays Lenny, a slightly more relaxed incarnation of his usual neurotic screen persona. Lenny is trapped in a bad marriage to high-strung art dealer Amanda (Helena Bonham Carter), but he finds solace in his relationship with his adopted young son. Indeed, he grows so fond of the boy that he decides to track down the boy's real mother, expecting to discover a brilliant professional. Instead, he finds Linda (Mira Sorvino), a ditzy prostitute and porno star who mingles casual vulgarity with disarming innocence. Despite his initial disillusionment, Lenny soon develops a fondness for Linda and decides to play matchmaker, setting her up with a handsome young boxer (Michael Rapaport) who is equally good-hearted and scatterbrained. While the contrast between the free-spirited Linda and the uptight Lenny provides the bulk of the laughs, hints of Allen's more literary humor are also present, particularly in the scenes involving a roaming Greek chorus commenting upon Lenny's fate. Sorvino received a supporting Oscar for her title role in a well-received movie that is nevertheless not at the level of Allen's best-known classics.


Woody Allen
as Lenny Winerib
Helena Bonham Carter
as Amanda Winerib
Mira Sorvino
as Linda Ash
Jack Warden
as Tiresias
Peter Weller
as Jerry Bender
J. Smith-Cameron
as Bud's Wife
Donald Symington
as Amanda's Father
Claire Bloom
as Amanda's Mother
F. Murray Abraham
as Greek Chorus Leader
Tucker Robin
as Infant Max
Nolan Tuffey
as Two-Year Old Max
Yvette Hawkins
as School Principal
Karin Haidorfer
as Park Avenue Woman
Gary Alper
as Park Avenue Man
Rosemary Murphy
as Adoption Coordinator
Peter McRobbie
as Linda's Ex-Landlord
Kathleen Doyle
as Ex-Landlord's Wife
Jennifer Greenhut
as Lenny's Secretary
Sondra James
as Operator
Paul Giamatti
as Extras Guild Researcher
William Addy
as Superintendent
Pamela Blair
as Greek Chorus Member
Dan Mullane
as Messenger
Thomas Durkin
as Race Announcer
Dan Moran
as Ricky, the Pimp
Paul Herman
as Ricky's Friend
Lisa Vidal
as Chorus
Tony Sirico
as Boxing Trainer
Tony Darrow
as Boxing Trainer
Al Cerullo
as Actual Helicopter Pilot
Ray Garvey
as Boxing Trainer
Joseph P. Coleman
as Porno Film Star
Georgette Pasare
as Porno Film Star
Bray Poor
as Helicopter Pilot
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Critic Reviews for Mighty Aphrodite

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (7)

Audience Reviews for Mighty Aphrodite

Better than average woody Allen movie. Like Mira Sorvino in this one. Didn't like the Greek chanters. Made no sense at all and no point them being there.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

"Of all human weaknesses, obsession is the most dangerous, and the silliest!" When he discovers his adopted son is a genius, a New York sportswriter seeks out the boy's birth mother: a prostitute.

A cute, solid Woody Allen comedy that's not as good as many of the comedies that came before but is worlds better than many that came after. Allen plays a sports writer who goes searching for the mother of his adopted son, only to find that she's a prostitute. Played by Mira Sorvino, this character is one of Allen's most delightful creations, a Judy Holliday with a foul mouth. In fact, this is one of Allen's raunchier movies, but it's also one of his sweetest. Sorvino walks a tightrope between dingy and heartbreaking that deservedly won her an Oscar. Allen uses a Greek chorus to comment on the action throughout the film, populated with famous actors like Olympia Dukakis, F. Murray Abraham and Jack Warden.

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

Odd, like all of Woody's films. It was alright and kind of funny though.

Leigh Ryan
Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

I think I enjoyed this a little more than I should have: it kind of skirts the heavier issues and makes the central plot point - tracking down your adopted child's birth mother - awfully light, and it's a little on the corny side in places... Mira Sorvino, for example, is over the top, and Michael Rappaport is... well, Michael Rappaport. Nevertheless, the ironically used Greek chorus and the framing of the main characters' quest in terms of the Oedipus plot should go down as one of Allen's cleverest devices, and though Woody Allen was basically playing himself (as he always does), he yet again inserted himself into a story crazy enough for his "character" (persona, more precisely?) to be believable.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

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