If I could rename Afternoon Delight, I would call it Depressed Housewife Rescues a Prostitute. I expected Jill Soloway’s new indie flick about a family who adopts a “sex worker” to be a bit cheekier, perhaps a twist on the old Pretty Woman Cinderella story. Alas, this prostitute is not the heroine of the story, or even the main focus. The film instead explores angsty housewife Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) in the suburbs of Los Angeles as she deals with extreme boredom, mostly with her husband Jeff (Josh Radnor). I would be bored too if my husband were an uncomfortable plank of a man whose greatest line is -- “Not everyone gets to be happy” -- delivered with arms in the air, as if he were physically grasping for emotion.
The naïve, glitter-drenched McKenna (Juno Temple) is a breath of comedy and sweetness in this heavy film riddled with awkward scenes. The relationship between McKenna and Rachel is a thousand times more interesting than the estranged husband mumbo jumbo Soloway was trying to pull. Temple and Hahn have serious onscreen chemistry, yes even sexual chemistry, that I wish Afternoon Delight explored more. Even so, the scenes that the two are in together make the film worth watching. - Rachel Finley
A regular at Lenox Coffee in Harlem, Ms. Finley is a contributor to Indie Flava magazine. Currently a Macaulay Honors College attendee (CCNY), she’s a lover of movies that make her re-evaluate her life decisions.