Mighty Aphrodite (1995) - Rotten Tomatoes

Mighty Aphrodite (1995)



Critic 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.

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
George De La Pena
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
View All

Critic Reviews for Mighty Aphrodite

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (7)

Were Mira Sorvino's all-redeeming, possibly best- list-bound performance to melt away, it would immediately be obvious how malnourished this amiably minor effort is.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2.5/4
Top Critic

That Allen would venture into this subject matter seems fraught with risk. But Mighty Aphrodite quickly turns into safer waters and develops into a sunny comedy about tawdry people.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

A minor comedy in Allen's work, though Mia Sorvino, who won an Oscar, shines as the prostitute, despite the director's condescending

July 2, 2011 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

'Mighty Aphrodite' only occasionally sparkles with witty dialogue reminiscent of Allen's earlier films, and that's not enough to resurrect the old Woody Allen magic.

May 28, 2011 | Full Review…

Surprisingly sweet Allen entry brought to life by Mira Sorvino.

November 12, 2005 | Rating: 3/5


February 7, 2005 | Rating: 4/5

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

Mighty Aphrodite Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features