Afternoon Delight


afternoon_delight

Rachel is a quick-witted and lovable stay-at-home mom. Frustrated with the realities of preschool auctions, a lackluster sex life and career that’s gone kaput, Rachel visits a strip club to spice up her marriage and meets McKenna, a stripper she adopts as her live-in nanny.

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Director: Jill Soloway

Writer[s]: Jill Soloway

Starring: Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, Josh Radnor, Jessica St. ClairJane Lynch

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Afternoon Delight was the first film I heard about from Sundance 2013. I follow Josh Radnor on the social medias, and I saw that he was doing this movie, and the trailer caught my eye and attention. It never really got a big release, so it has taken me a year to finally see it, but I’ve never seen Kathryn Hahn in a leading role, and she’s always friggen hilarious, so the wait was worth it.

Hahn plays Rachel, a stay at home mom who is very involved with her son’s school activities. She sees a therapist weekly and hasn’t had sex with her husband [Radnor] in six months. To try and spark some sexual interest, she goes to the strip club with her husband and friends, and it is here that she meets McKenna [Temple], a stripper and sex worker. A few days later, Rachel heads back to the club and befriends McKenna and hires her as her nanny, and even suggests/allows McKenna to move in to her house for a while.

I’m not really sure what the relationship is between Rachel and McKenna, or the motive to befriend and attach to McKenna. Maybe Rachel wants to live vicariously through McKenna; maybe she always wanted a daughter [although this would be a strange mother daughter relationship]; maybe she’s trying to save her own life by “saving” McKenna’s. I don’t know. Rachel doesn’t even know. Maybe a woman can shed some light on the subject. But without really knowing why any of this is going on, it’s hard to get involved in the film and to really enjoy it thoroughly.

All of the characters are mildly interesting, and the three main leads of Hahn, Temple, and Radnor are convincing, but none of the characters are quite complete on paper. Writer/director Jill Soloway is a veteran of television, and this feels like a television pilot for while. It lacks development, and a lack of conviction. It does achieve several moments of good, quality cinema that are touching and true, but only a couple of them.

My Rating

1/4 – Hahn, Temple, and Radnor are good, but the story seems like a television pilot, and it lacks development and conviction.

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