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Afternoon Delight

Year: 2013
Production Co: 72 Productions
Director: Jill Soloway
Writer: Jill Soloway
Cast: Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, Josh Radnor

Here's a story about an outwardly happy pair of married creative types with a beautiful home in an urbane Los Angeles area but whose union has a dark underbelly, only to be exposed in emotional turmoil when a young, sexually liberated woman moves in.

Hang on, didn't we just see this last year in Nobody Walks with Olivia Thirlby, Rosemarie DeWitt and John Krasinski? Indeed we did, and so no matter how dramatically relevant, well-acted or accurate it is about contemporary marriage, you can't help thinking it's the Infamous to Capote and the Armageddon to Deep Impact.

With an air of stuttery but sweet-natured sarcasm torn (once again) from Woody Allen's playbook, Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) takes husband Jeff (Josh Radnor) to a strip club when her girlfriends tell her it will lead to a sexier time in bed.

The standoffish, disinterested Jeff hardly changes, but Rachel is drawn back to the club to befriend McKenna (Temple), the free-spirit stripper who gave her husband a lap dance. Seeing McKenna as something between a craft project and a child that need saving, Rachel asks the girl to move in with them – ostensibly as a nanny to their son, but secretly hoping it will shake things up in her marriage.

Shake it does, but when the extent of what McKenna does for money becomes apparent, Rachel feels a boundary she didn't think she had. Long before she does, you'll realise she should have put her energy into a worthier pursuit to save her marriage, and by the time she realises and McKenna's nose is put out of joint by Rachel's reaction, the damage might be done when the boys hold their weekly poker night with an attentive stripper in their midst.

It's a meandering road to get somewhere the couple should have figured out they needed to be much quicker, and the flagrant nudity on display might interest some, but you've seen it all before.

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