Saturday October 12th, 6.30pm – Ritzy, Screen 2
Monday October 14th, 9pm – Cineworld Haymarket, Screen 1
Tuesday October 15th, 9pm – Screen on the Green
When trying to break out of a suffocating rut, spicing up her sex life is the obvious answer for frustrated housewife Rachel (Kathryn Hahn, Stepbrothers). After visiting a strip club with her husband Jeff (Josh Radnor, How I Met Your Mother), Rachel finds herself oddly fixated on doe-eyed exotic dancer McKenna (Juno Temple, Dirty Girl). In a misguided bid to turn the young girl’s life around, Rachel invites McKenna to live in her home alongside Jeff and their pre-schooler son. Despite Rachel’s best intentions, McKenna’s presence becomes a major source of tension for the family and their close circle of friends.
Kathryn Hahn is widely recognised as a comedian after acting in prominent films like Stepbrothers and Anchorman, but the comedy in Afternoon Delight is much more subtle than in her previous work. Hahn has ample opportunity to showcase her considerable talent as the witty yet bored and even vulnerable Rachel; meanwhile, Juno Temple is both naive and alluring as self-styled sex worker McKenna. In a supporting role as Hahn’s busy husband, Josh Radnor sheds his romanticised How I Met Your Mother image and comes into his own as the tired, middle-class everyman. Hahn and Radnor have strong chemistry, and though for the most part it comes across as platonic, this actually works for a film where the central couple is going through a dry spell.
Solid cast aside, Afternoon Delight is somehow lacking. Though there is certainly plenty of potential to be wrung from Rachel and McKenna’s unusual scenario, the film is essentially about Rachel’s monotony. Unfortunately a story about a character who is intensely bored can (perhaps predictably) become rather boring!
The occasional lulls are, however, the film’s only downfall. Writer and director Jill Soloway (United States of Tara) has taken an outrageous premise and made it very real and accessible. Afternoon Delight offers a full cinematic package: it is tender, alluring, funny and even somewhat dark.
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Watch the trailer for Afternoon Delight here: