Rachel, a stay-at-home mom, lives a seemingly perfect life in her affluent Silver Lake neighborhood with her successful husband and adorable child. In reality, Rachel is wound up too tight, living a mundane existence in a marriage that has lost nearly all passion. When Rachel and her husband visit a strip club, in an effort to spark their sex lives, Rachel meets McKeena, and soon after, invites her to be a live-in nanny, in an effort to help help McKenna out. Jill Soloway's Afternoon Delight is an examination of the typical, middle-class suburban housewife and while it does come off a little too preachy at times, it provides an honest and refreshing depiction. Rachel is a great protagonist for this type of film, a woman whose own privileged lifestyle has smothered her growth. She is an incredibly good natured character who wants to help out the less fortunate, not realizing she also needs to help herself. Kathryn Hahn, an actress mostly known for her comedic work, gives a great performance as Rachel, bringing a rich and complex character to life with great fragility. This film is all about the role swap between Mckenna and Rachel, capturing how these two extremely different walks of life can educate one and other. We all have problems whether worn on the surface or hidden, and Afternoon's juxtaposition of these two characters is probably its greatest strength. I'm not sure the film quite achieves everything it sets out to do, feeling a bit unfocused at exactly what it wants to say. Hahn masks a lot of this with her performance, but the themes which Afternoon Delight examines feel more teased than actually developed and while I don't think the film is cohesive enough in its conclusion, one cannot deny that it is compelling from start to finish thanks to largely to Hahn's performance.
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