In Victorian England, the vibrator was invented as a labor-saving device for doctors treating a female condition called "hysteria." The humor comes mostly from the fact that we see the absurdity of the concept from the Victorian point of view.
While Tanya Wexler's new film Hysteria is at times a hysterical romantic comedy, it also skillfully navigates important issues about class and medical practices in the 1880s, and takes a good look at women's rights in general.