Feature

Afternoon Delight

A stay-at-home mom takes in a young stripper.

Directed by Jill Soloway
(R)

**

“It says a lot about the state of American comedy” that this imperfect film “feels like a breath of fresh air,” said Andrew O’Hehir in Salon.com. Kathryn Hahn, an “immensely enjoyable” comic actress best known for her TV work, handles the “immensely challenging” lead role brilliantly, turning a story about an unsatisfied but self-deluded L.A. housewife into “an often hilarious female-centric social satire.” But Hahn can’t work miracles, said Mike D’Angelo in the A.V. Club. For a while, Jill Soloway’s debut film looks like the vehicle Hahn has been waiting for, as her character visits a strip club to recharge her marriage, only to become obsessed with helping out a young stripper, even inviting her to move into the family’s extra room. But after the new boarder turns out to be a part-time prostitute, Hahn’s doleful suburbanite starts treating Juno Temple’s character like a lesser life-form, and “even Hahn can’t be funny under those circumstances.” Afternoon Delight ends up being an exercise in “half-hearted soul-searching,” said Sheri Linden in the Los Angeles Times. “Aiming to discomfort, it ends up retreating.”

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