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Afternoon Delight

Movie Details

Afternoon Delight
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 2013-08-30 Limited
  • Running Time: 99 min.
  • Director: Jill Soloway
  • Cast: Juno Temple, Josh Radnor, Jane Lynch, Kathryn Hahn, Suzy Nakamura, Jessica St. Clair, John Kapelos, Keegan Michael Key, Michaela Watkins
  • Producers: Jen Chaiken, Sebastian Dungan
  • Writer: Jill Soloway
  • Distributor: The Film Arcade
  • Official Site: Afternoon Delight Official Site

Marital instability isn't fixed until, absurdly, it is-- by introducing a prostitute into the household mix in Afternoon Delight, a film whose themes are as neatly laid out as its characters' behavior is preposterous. Exuding a compelling messiness that deserves a better vehicle than this, Kathryn Hahn stars as Rachel, a stay-at-home mom whose loveless marriage to workaholic Jeff (Josh Radnor) drives her to invite home a stripper-cum-whore, McKenna (Juno Temple), from whom she receives a lap dance at a local club. Writer-director Jill Soloway coherently outlines the various dissatisfactions that lead Rachel to this decision, which soon involves hiring McKenna as a nanny for the couple's preschool-age son, as well as tagging along to see McKenna screw one of her regulars. Especially during a drunken girls' night, Hahn digs deep to locate the character's ugly need and self-loathing. None of that changes the fact that the central conceit is impossibly contrived. When one of Rachel's friends, post-cataclysmic events, tells her "you had to know better," the censure is likely to inspire viewers to eye-rolls, given that it's impossible to believe even the monumentally discontent Rachel wouldn't have recognized this fact from the start. The result is a film that gets at true, tumultuous emotions via a scenario that’s thoroughly false.

Nick Schager

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