Ladies will love Afternoon Delight. Non-ladies will, too. But, holy sh*t, will ladies love this movie!
I was lucky enough to see an early screening of Afternoon Delight, which is currently in competition at The Sundance Film Festival.
It’s no surprise to me that the film went to Sundance as, I swear, the first thing I said when I walked out of that screening was, “Not only is that movie going to get into Sundance. It could very well win Sundance.”
Writer/Director Jill Soloway (Six Feet Under, The United States of Tara, Sundance Short Selection: Una Hora Por Favora) really, really got this right; from the very idea from which the story was born, to the writing, to the casting and the choices that Soloway and her editor, Catherine Haight made when they cut this film.
You know, the film that I’m essentially obsessed with.
Afternoon Delight follows Rachel (Kathryn Hahn), a housewife who brings a young stripper McKenna (Juno Temple), home. Rachel doesn’t bring her home as a treat for husband (Josh Radnor). She invites McKenna home to save her. But not everyone wants to be saved. Which is a lesson in itself.
Rachel invites McKenna home because she thinks she can learn something from her that will wake up her sleeping relationship with her husband. And Rachel’s cover for having a hot young girl around? She’s the new nanny.
Rachel’s therapist (Jane Lynch) doesn’t approve, but then again, she’s got problems of her own—which she often shares with Rachel.
Rachel is definitely stuck and trying to shake things up. Everything. Her friends, all fellow moms active at the local Jewish Community Center– all have an opinion. There is a particularly, spectacularly perfect wine-fueled girls’ night scene that bounces back and forth with the husbands’ alcohol-filled poker night. God, I wanted to be in that living room for that girl’s night. Each friend is distinct; no one blurs and everyone shines. Not an easy task. Hitting it outta the lady park, along with Hahn, are: Michaela Watkins, Jessica St. Clair, Annie Mumolo and Suzy Nakamura.
Afternoon Delight is bold. Raw. Honest. Almost too honest at times. And when you have assembled a group of actors (women and men alike) who approach their work with complete vulnerability and an absolute willingness to “go there”, “almost too honest at times” is nothing but a gift.
Soloway has dug deep and the result is both emotional and hilarious. Women will relate and men will relate. They’ll see things they’ve thought but never said and they’ll see things they’ve said and wish they hadn’t.
I can’t wait for you guys to see it.