The Starland Vocal Band is nowhere to be seen (or heard) in Afternoon Delight, so there’s another lost opportunity for the ’70s one-hit group to come back. This Afternoon Delight has more serious fish to fry, even if it’s full of strong comic actors. The movie is arranged around Kathryn Hahn, who—whether parachuting for the length of a story arc into ongoing series such as Parks and Recreation or cutting a bizarre path through Step Brothers—has been threatening to bring her particular brand of funny/weird to center stage for the best part of a decade.
Hahn is allowed to make her mark, and then some, in Afternoon Delight. She plays Rachel, a stay-at-home mom whose disenchanted life is shaken by her encounter with an exotic dancer, McKenna (Juno Temple), during an evening when she and husband Jeff (Josh Radnor, from How I Met Your Mother) double-date with friends at a strip club. (Couples in movies have been known to do this.) McKenna is soon staying at Rachel and Jeff’s place, an awkward situation complicated by McKenna’s sideline as a prostitute. Writer/director Jill Soloway would have us believe that Rachel’s mid-life crisis might accommodate all this and more, and maybe in a better movie it could. Soloway does her best to remind us we’re not watching a pure comedy, as she regularly includes scenes of idle boredom and cringeworthy behavior.