In an age of invention, one man set out to find a medical cure for what ails women… and accidentally electrified our love lives forever.
This is the story of HYSTERIA, Informant Media’s mischievously inspired romantic comedy based on the surprising truth of how Mortimer Granville came up with the world’s first electro-mechanical vibrator in the name of medical science. Hugh Dancy (ADAM, CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC) and Academy Award® nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal (CRAZY HEART, NANNY MCPHEE RETURNS) headline an accomplished cast in this untold tale of Victorian discovery, as a young doctor’s quest to figure out the key to women’s happiness leads him to his own.
The time is the 1880s, at the very peak of Victorian prudishness but the dawn of the electrical age. In London, the brilliant and devoted young doctor Mortimer Granville (DANCY) has just lost his hospital position for believing in “germ theory” and needs a new job. He finds it with Dr. Dalrymple (JONATHAN PRYCE), who specializes in treating the alarming epidemic of women suffering from “hysteria” – the flustering symptoms include weeping, melancholia and erratic, aggressive emotions unbefitting a proper lady. Dalrymple’s “manual massage” cure is shockingly effective, but Mortimer has to fight off both numb hands and the fiery disapproval of Dalrymple’s vexing daughter, Charlotte (GYLLENHAAL), a champion of poor women’s rights, as he begins to build his fledgling practice.
Then, just when he seems to be losing his physician’s touch, Mortimer’s forwardthinking friend Edmund (RUPERT EVERETT) unveils the plans for his new electric-powered feather duster, which gives the doctor a compelling idea… the result will revitalize his medical practice, thrill his patients and upend his heart, as Charlotte begins to teach him more about how women really work – and what they actually want – than he ever bargained for.
The result is a witty, winning comedy that not only reveals how the vibrator became one of the first electrical appliances in history to earn a patent – but sends sparks flying between a cautious man and a liberated woman brought together by the wonders of friction.