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When a woman tries to reinvigorate her life by temporarily adopting a stripper, she gets more than she bargained for.
Review (with Spoilers)
Being that I liked Josh Radnor’s HappyThankYouMorePlease and Liberal Arts I figured he had pretty good choices when it came to making movies. Add in Juno Temple, who may not have the best movies, but usually participates in weird films worth viewing once, and I felt sold. Thus leading me to watch Afternoon Delight.
Characters & Story
Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) is a very unhappy woman. Her relationship with her husband isn’t working; Her life as a stay at home mom, dealing with the other stay at home moms’ charity functions, is tedious; and all the while, her psychologist Lenore (Jane Lynch) keeps talking about how fabulous her life is while Rachel feels like she is drowning.
Enter McKenna (Juno Temple), a stripper who is originally supposed to get Rachel and husband Jeff (Josh Radnor) hot and bothered enough to end their 6 months without sex. But, with Rachel getting sick, they continue to be in a rut. So, to distract Rachel from her misery, Rachel decides to play, what McKenna calls, “captain save a hoe.” But all of this, seemingly, is made to distract Rachel from her various troubles which, by the end of the movie, come to a head.
For me, perhaps the most interesting part of the film is Temple playing a sex worker. Not because of the eroticism of it, but because she plays one which doesn’t have much, if any, shame about what she does. Yes, she notes that sometimes she is the mistress, but at the same time, it is noted that cheating is a two-way street. But, even outside Temple’s dialog and performance, I found it interesting how the perception of what a sex worker was worked into the plot by them noting how she looked like a college student, and yet was in the profession she was. I think it spoke a lot about the various misconceptions people have when it comes to people who honestly do sell sex for a living.
And, outside of that, that’s it for the praise.
In all honesty, both Hahn and Radnor in this movie were a bit boring. The reason I say this is because watching Hahn’s character, Rachel, be neurotic wasn’t the best entertainment, and though she had her moments in which the neuroticism was explained, I just felt that she never broke through that barrier from being a character to just a flawed human being. As for Radnor, be it lack of development, or just his performance, I just really didn’t care about his character. In fact, I tried my best to imagine this as some weird HIMYM spin-off where he marries the wrong woman just to try to make it interesting. It didn’t work, though.
Overall: Skip It
Though interesting at first, this movie for me fails because really, McKenna brings the most interesting plot into the mix and I felt the script slowly started to realize McKenna would perhaps shadow Rachel, so then they threw in a bunch of issues for Rachel to talk about so she can compete. And overall, I think the film’s story doesn’t do much besides making me wanting to watch Pretty Woman. For despite Temple having an interesting character, and the whole “captain save a hoe” plot being interesting, with Rachel’s issues, and Jeff’s aloofness, the film may have a few bright spots, but overall is something I’d recommend to skip.