Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Mighty Aphrodite (1995)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Mighty Aphrodite (1995)

In Woody Allen's comedy, with a clever but overused Greek Chorus (led by F. Murray Abraham) that observed and made comments on the plot:

  • the opening sequence - the appearance of a Greek Chorus in an ancient amphitheatre, repeating in unison a warning to mankind about those who tempted fate: ("Woe unto man. Brave Achilles, slain in trial by blood - for prize, the bride of Menelaus. And father of Antigone, ruler of Thebes, self-rendered sightless by lust for expiation. Lost victim of bewildered desire. Nor has Jason's wife fared better. Giving life only to reclaim it in vengeful fury. (Leader) For to understand the ways of the heart is to grasp as clearly the malice or ineptitude of the gods, who, in their vain and clumsy labors to create a flawless surrogate, have left mankind but dazed and incomplete. Take, for instance, the case of Lenny Weinrib, a tale as Greek and timeless as fate itself")
  • the plot premise - the adoption of a son named Max, by neurotic sportswriter Lenny Weinrib (Woody Allen) and his art gallery owner wife Amanda (Helena Bonham Carter), to resolve issues in their unhappy marriage - subsequently, Lenny went on a search to locate Max's biological mother
  • the first encounter of adoptive father Lenny with dumb, high-pitched-voiced, crude, horny, classless and blonde long-legged prostitute/porn actress Linda Ash/Judy Cum (an Oscar-winning performance by Mira Sorvino) - she appeared at her apartment door ("Hi, are you my 3 o'clock?") thinking that he was a "high-strung" male "john" - a married client who was overdue for fellatio ("It looks like it's been a long time since you had a great blow job"), and she later affirmed: "You want to know why I liked you right from the start?... 'Cause I'm always attracted to losers...You got no confidence. It's sweet. I like that in a man. I can't stand those johns who come in here and throw down a couple of hundred and whip out a big dick and wave it all over the joint"
  • and her gleeful observation as she showed him her recently-acquired erotic antique watch, a gift that she recently received: ("As the main spring goes back and forth, the bishop keeps f--king her in the ass. It's a genuine antique and it keeps perfect time")
  • her incredulous reaction that the extremely nervous Lenny didn't want to sleep with her, after he made numerous comments or attempts about reforming, saving, or changing Linda from her hooker sex-trade to something more domestic ("If you're serious about being a Broadway actress, what are you wasting your time with all this porn for?...I just think it's crazy. You're an attractive young woman...You don't have to live like this, Linda.... You take money from guys and you perform all these acts...You could have a husband and a child or something") - and ultimately, she called him "possessive", returned his money and dismissed him from her apartment
  • later, during a lunch meal in a restaurant, Linda's description to Lenny of her biological father and her incredulous, miserable life: "Oh, he was a drug pusher and he was also a car thief, and he picked pockets and, you know, he burgled and stuff and he was an epileptic... mail fraud... that's what they caught him then I ran away when I was 14....and I went away with this musician named Johnny. And it was terrible because we fought all the time, Lenny. Finally, he committed suicide. And for years I thought it was because of my cooking. He always hated my clam sauce. And so then I kicked around from Chicago, Philadelphia, you know. All over the place. And I ended up here...I waited on tables. I worked in a massage parlor. I did phone sex. Now and then I would, you know, turn a few tricks in order to make some dough. And one day my friend Susie calls me and she asks me if I want to be in a film. Something called Snatch Happy. And I said, 'Sure.' And I remember I was very nervous because I'd never done it in front of people with a camera before, you know. And so there I am on the first day, on the set. And there's this guy f--king me from behind, right? And there's these two huge guys dressed like cops in my mouth at the same time. And I remember thinking to myself, 'I like acting. I wanna study'"
  • in their third meeting together, the revelation that she was the mother of his adopted son Max (due to a broken condom): "I had a kid, Lenny, and I gave him up for adoption. It's the sorriest thing I ever did in my entire life. There's not a day that doesn't go by that I don't wake up thinking about him. Now some lucky family has him. I just hope to God that they're taking good care of him...I was all confused. I had no dough. I-I-- I didn't know what to do. I-- I didn't even know who the father was. It could've been any one of a hundred guys. Welcome to planet Earth, thanks to a broken condom"
  • the bittersweet twist ending (with the Chorus urging: "When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles with You)") when they both met about a year later in a toy store - Linda was now married, with a regular job as a hairdresser, and she was pushing a baby in a stroller (fathered by Lenny, although she hadn't told him!) - each ended up with the other's child, without each other's knowledge

Greek Chorus

Adoption of Max

Linda Ash/Judy Cum (Mira Sorvino) - Meeting Lenny at Her Door

His Nervous First Encounter With Linda

Linda's Description of Her Life and Entry Into Porn

Linda's Confession That She Gave Away a Child for Adoption

Ending: Meeting in Toy Store

Linda as Hairdresser, Living in Connecticut


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