xXx: Return of Xander Cage
The last forty minutes of the movie do come together in a pretty diverting way.
"First, do no harm," the Hippocratic Oath admonishes doctors. By this standard, Dr. Robert Dalrymple must have been one of the few practitioners of the Victorian era with a sterling record. He knew no more than most other doctors of his time and was treating a condition that didn't exist, female hysteria. But give the doctor his due. His treatments consisted of inducing orgasms in his patients, and he didn't lose a one. In fact, his waiting room was usually jammed.
Tanya Wexler's quietly saucy "Hysteria" takes place in London at a time when medical authorities didn't know the word for or the concept of "orgasm," and apparently many women never experienced them. His treatments consisted of modestly covering a patient's private regions with a little tent, reaching delicately beneath it and using digital stimulation to effect a cure. How he hit upon this method must be attributed to sheer genius.
We meet an ambitious young doctor named Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy), who has become nearly unemployable because of his habit of questioning the orthodoxy of the time. Desperate for work, he applies at the household of Dalrymple (Jonathan Pryce), who has more patients than he can handle. This also introduces him to the Dalrymple daughters, Charlotte (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a social activist, and the dutiful Emily (Felicity Jones), a student of phrenology who's also searching for a husband. Charlotte flatly rejects her father's theories as crackpot and his treatments as suspect, but uses family money to support her work among the London poor. Mortimer is intended to marry one daughter and falls in love with the other.
Curing hysteria is not a practice without its drawbacks, and Mortimer treats his patients with such dedication that he comes down with what was not then known as carpal tunnel syndrome. In despair, he consults his droll and dubious friend, Edmund St. John-Smythe (Rupert Everett), who happens to be toying with an electrically powered duster. They try it on Mortimer's afflicted area, a light bulb illuminates over Mortimer's head, and the vibrator is invented.