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Sundance review: 'Afternoon Delight'

Published January 25, 2013 2:54 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

"Afternoon Delight"

U.S. Dramatic

*** (three stars)

Kathryn Hahn, always a reliable comic presence in other people's movies ("Girls," "Parks & Recreation," "The Goods"), owns this dark sex comedy. Hahn plays Rachel, a suburban L.A. wife and mother who doesn't want to be just like the other women at the JCC. After a visit to a strip club, Rachel decides to befriend Makena (Juno Temple), a stripper who also bills herself as a "sex worker" (or what old-school folks would call a call girl). Seeking to save her, Rachel brings Makena into her house to be a nanny for her five-year-old son. Makena's arrival doesn't sit well with Rachel's husband Jeff (Josh Radnor), but it completely unnerves Rachel when she sees Makena working with a client. Writer-director Jill Soloway gets a good grasp on suburban discontent (an area also covered in the similarly themed "Concussion," also here at Sundance), and draws a sharp, funny cast that includes Jane Lynch, Michaela Watkins, Annie Mumolo ("Bridesmaids") and Jessica St. Clair. But Hahn, going from frazzled to intrigued to disturbed, gives a powerful performance filled with awkward laughs and genuine tears.

— Sean P. Means

No more screenings are scheduled for "Afternoon Delight."