Sundance review: 'Afternoon Delight'
*** (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."