Comedy / Drama

Afternoon Delight

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"Afternoon Delight" is one of those ex post facto releases in Japan that arrives riding the wake of another hit. It won a best director award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013, but is only now getting released because writer-director Jill Soloway and actress Kathryn Hahn are in the spotlight for "Transparent," their hit series on Amazon.

First things first: Despite being billed as a comedy about a bored upper-middle-class housewife befriending a stripper, "Afternoon Delight" is as angst-ridden as it is funny, closer to the bittersweet vibe of a "mumblecore" film than the gals-behaving-badly humor of "Bridesmaids." Also, though it takes its name from a cheesy 1970s pop song (by Starland Vocal Band), "Afternoon Delight" is not retro but set in modern-day LA.

How best to describe Rachel, the character played by Hahn? Soloway seems to see her as a woman in the throes of a midlife crisis, dissatisfied with being one of the mommies doing endless activities at her son's kindergarten, frustrated by her sexless marriage with app-coding husband Jeff (Josh Radnor), simmering over the fact that she gave up her career to be a stay-at-home mom, yet unable to express anything but fake-smile satisfaction to her therapist. Her "issues" involve things like having to fire her nanny because the woman bonded with her son better than she did.