Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Afternoon Delight Movie Review

Caught the Sundance winnah "Afternoon Delight" last night and I must say it was a good one. Not what I was expecting but still a pretty good one nonetheless. The film stars Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple and Josh Radnor.

First let's set the mood here: Starland Vocal Band - Afternoon delight

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Here's the synopsis for the film:

Hahn plays Rachel, a quick-witted and lovable yet tightly coiled woman living within the affluent Silver Lake neighborhood. At first glance, with their chic modern home, successful husband, adorable child and a hipster wardrobe, you’d think Rachel is living in full bliss until she felt the stabbing reality of emptiness when left alone at home and ponders on her lackluster sex life.

Spicing things up, she decides to visit a strip club and gets a private dance from McKenna (played by Juno Temple) and something cracks open in Rachel. Inspired by the experience, Rachel returns to the club to get to know McKenna, soon after adopts her as a live-in nanny. This bold move unleashes unimagined and colorful waves of change into Rachel’s life, marriage and community.

Here are some of the things that I'm much pleased about the film. 

- Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) is a pretty human character. I got to admire this film for showing the good and bad, the ups and downs of being human. Women can totally relate and if you're fancying some 'female empowerment' here, that's relative. IMHO, she's playing midfield here. More on Hahn later.

- Juno Temple as McKena is just about the sweetest thing. Fine she's also cute and all that but really, for a sex worker down on her luck, you don't see the stress or the frustration or sadness. She's fricking bubbly most of the times. Well except of course for that time when she was going bonkers, but that's still tolerable. 

- On McKenna, I liked the way that she's cool with everything. It's as if she was written to be the voice of reality, the poster child for temperance and control so when the moments where she and Hahn interact are there onscreen, you get to see the real divide. Pretty solid scriptwriting. 

- Josh Radnor in Afternoon Delight comes as a bit of a shock. Radnor's always been picky about his roles and this is the first movie I've seen him on (I know he made a movie recently but that's not yet arrived here locally and I'm too busy to actually look for it). Going back to the shock comment, yeah, it's a bit of a shock to see hopeless romantic Ted Mosby from "How I Met Your Mother" smoking weed, banging his wife bucknaked and nearly cavorting with Juno Temple. And he looks old and grizzled here, which is perfect for his role. Also my wife loves him now and I can't do anything about that. 

- Comedy-wise, I was expecting more but it comes in dribs and drabs. Might be a tad disappointed but you'll forgive everything once you really start reading into the story and the lives of the lead characters. If you're thinking French-Canadian American Pie, no dice. 

- Keegan-Michael Peele of the Key and Peele tandem is also lurking somewhere here in this movie. That could've upped the comedy factor but alas. His presence does cement the film's rep as a comedy. 

- Jane Lynch is also here. Nuff said.

- Afternoon Delight is a good movie for couples of all ages and sizes. But it'll get more oomph for the younger couples. Still, it's got hints of family drama in this. Too bad you can't bring your kids because of the sensitive matters discussed and tackled. 

I like the film's last part. It's subtle and simple and it'll probably make a stoner in the audience light up and raise their bongs. 

Also Moral Lesson - Do not bring your wife to a stripclub. It's a pretty weird thing and idea. 

AFTERNOON DELIGHT Opens December 11!

Special thanks to Axinite Digicinema; like their facebook page here - 

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