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The Boston Globe



Mom meets stripper in ‘Afternoon Delight’

It really does give one pause: Why have the past few years seen a flowering of independent comedy-dramas on the theme of women’s early midlife crises? “Hello, I Must Be Going,” “Bachelorette, “The Kids Are All Right,” “Lifeguard,” “Girl Most Likely,” “Celeste and Jesse Forever” — the list goes on and on, some of them well done, all of them welcome. Is this a post-“Girls” phenomenon? More likely, they’re all part of the same phenomenon: Talented female writers, many of them coming up through cable TV, are taking advantage of low-budget digital filmmaking, film festivals, and the streaming/on-demand pipeline to tell their own stories. And guess what? The women are as profoundly confused as the men are.

The latest is “Afternoon Delight,” the nervy, occasionally laugh-out-loud funny directorial debut of writer/show-runner Jill Soloway (”United States of Tara,” “Six Feet Under”). The movie has a number of things going for it. The first is star Kathryn Hahn, who has been doing deft character work in so many movies and TV shows that you probably don’t remember where you’ve seen her. (“Parks and Recreation”? “We’re the Millers”? “Anchorman”? Try all of the above.) The second is Soloway herself, a working mother who knows her turf and whose script skewers the absurdities of married upper-middle-class yuppiedom, LA division, down to its last bag of quinoa.

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