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Afternoon Delight

Afternoon Delight
Reviewed by Sean Saulsbury (sean@soundtrack.net)
Published on March 3rd, 2014

[Rating - 2]

[m.36238]Afternoon Delight[] is a comedy with a message about sex that falls embarrassingly short in its execution. The story follows a stay at home mom, Rachel (played by Kathryn Hahn) who becomes strangely fascinated by a young stripper and prostitute (Juno Temple). She befriends the girl and offers her a place to stay when her luck runs dry.

And thus begins a series of cringe worthy series of inappropriate, child-endangering behaviors that make you want to look away from the screen in embarrassment for the film makers. It's not all bad, though.

Issues of shame around sex are explored in an interesting way that may make you think -- but are later undermined by a character breaking her promise or doing something so stupid as to crush the positive arguments the character is making and ruin their credibility.

The theme that sex is about unashamed connection between two individuals is dramatized in what the film calls "open-eyed orgasms" and as a dramatic device it almost works. Rachel struggles throughout the film to achieve this nirvana with her husband.

But far as the prostitute goes, this is no [m.20613]Pretty Woman[]. We root for her redemption and are ultimately disappointed. In the end, there is very little to root for and the film fails to concretize its own theme in a final scene that it so obviously it thinks it is illustrating. It's not. It's poor execution at the worst opportune time -- the film's climax and ending.

Still, there are a few laughs here anyone who has dealt with shame when it comes to sex may experience some thought-provoking moments. But a good theme poorly executed is an anti-climax, which is not something a movie about sex should really strive for.

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