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Fletcher While there is no doubt that some version of the actress Kathryn Hahn existed prior toit seems to me to be appropriate to say that Kathryn Hahn the way we know her best—Hahn the bohemian horndog, the self-loathing yummy mummy with a graduate degree in English literature—made her onscreen debut that year in Afternoon Delighta minor indie with some major hang-ups about sex work.
Written and directed by Jill Soloway, the movie takes the unimaginative trope of a mid-lifer being reinvigorated by a young, hot and eccentric blonde, and makes it roughly 50 percent more intriguing by ensuring that the one having the midlife crisis is in fact a woman: Rachel, a bored stay-at-home mom who was once a jobbing writer, takes her husband to a strip club in the hopes that seeing other women naked might convince them to get naked with each other.
Trying too hard to seem chill, she gets a lap dance from McKenna, a blonde, barely-legal stripper played by Juno Temple in the key of Paris Hilton. Hahn, as Rachel, plays the scene with four distinct moods: terrified, aroused, surprised to be aroused, and slightly dazed.
Some psychic shift occurs, minor but vital to the plot. Proving herself to be very, very un -chill, Rachel takes to driving aimlessly around the neighborhood adjacent to the strip club, hoping she might catch McKenna on a break; when she eventually does, she engineers a meet-cute at the coffee stand, and the two women strike up an unusual friendship.
As in Tullythe young interloper meets the older woman in the guise of an employee, leaving the sincerity of their connection in some doubt. Rachel just beams and beams. Certainly, when things go south, she wields her body like a particularly cute Kalashnikov, taking no prisoners and expressing no regret. It is difficult to know whether the movie thinks that what McKenna does is more demeaning than being a jobless and reluctant bougie housewife, although Rachel seems unhappier than her houseguest, and a general malaise seems to hang over her apartment like a fog.
A scene where Rachel, bummed out by the tedium of a kiddy craft fair, chooses to accompany McKenna to an asation with a client—a sexual exhibitionist, who first wants her to watch, and then wants her to stick her fingers in his mouth—marks the first and the only time in Afternoon Delight that she does any work at all.
Still, we are meant to see the experience as an act of degradation, a traumatic come-to-Jesus moment scarifying enough to put Rachel off her Captain-Save-A-Ho campaign. She stops treating her new charge the way a certain type of affluent white woman might treat an impoverished sex worker, i. It may be less accurate to say that all the women that I watched Hahn play over that period were similar than to suggest that both films and both series seemed to occupy a kind of Kathryn Hahn Cinematic Universe. When I alluded to a typical character played by Hahn in the first paragraph, what I was thinking of specifically was this: a woman in her early forties who is a professional or a formerly-professional writer, with some kind of sexual hang-up or obsession that is causing her to behave in an atypical way.
Fletcher, though not technically a professional writer, s up for a community college class on essay writing. Kraus is sexually obsessed with Dick, who she writes letters to; Rachel no longer has sex because she is monomaniacally obsessed with IVF; Mrs. What is fascinating about Kathryn Hahn is the fact that something about her way of being prevents this from feeling like a violation. Hahn, as Chris, never feels vulnerable per se, even when she is acting like a desperate person. I and Vol. II : Charlotte Gainsbourg, who is beaten and assaulted over three hours of footage as the titular sex addict, makes the exercise less sordid by virtue of her innate intelligence and dignity, so that the welts and the split lips and the requests to be annihilated by strange men feel less like weakness than like anarchy, a love of pain that adds to rather than diminishes her sense of self.
Hahn is very often naked—her lean body, accessorized with a pair of unhip pantyhose, a period stain, a camisole, is her preferred prop. There may be no sexier actress working now, the primary thing about her being her willingness to strip off, talk blue, quip acerbically, and convincingly play the kind of woman who routinely publishes short stories in Tin House. Her characters are not wisebut smart; not well-adjusted, but well-read. There is one scene in Mrs.
Fletcher where her character, having begun communing with her inner pervert by exposing herself to a not-inconsiderable volume of online pornography, enacts a spanking video alone in her beige-tinged suburban kitchen: bending over on the counter, she pretends to be the spanker and the spankee simultaneously, slapping her cheeks until they turn a bright vermillion. It is hot, and very stupid, and Hahn plays it as a perfect mix of slapstick and erotica, inducing in her Housewives wants real sex Kathryn a feeling not unlike the one that hits in the dark moment between orgasm, and slamming down the laptop screen.
That she owns it, leaning into its ridiculousness until that ridiculousness becomes oddly sensual, is the most Hahnian mood. Speaking of things that make you want to close your laptop: in the interests of research, I ended up watching the first half of Bad Momsa broad, dumb comedy from in which Hahn plays a wild single mom named Carla, for the sake of seeing her play against type by acting dopey, very trashy and more like a cartoon character than like the kind of woman whose exposure to cartoons is limited to the New Yorker. She is the woman that McKenna, twenty years after her turn as the concupiscent young sex worker of Afternoon Delightmight have grown into: dressed in pink, perpetually spilling out of her minuscule leather jacket, and Housewives wants real sex Kathryn fond of frosted lipstick as she is of hunky men.
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Wanting Bad Things. On Being an Arsehole. Subscribe Log In. Web-Only Criticism May 18, Fletcher While there is no doubt that some version of the actress Kathryn Hahn existed prior toit seems to me to be appropriate to say that Kathryn Hahn the way we know her best—Hahn the bohemian horndog, the self-loathing yummy mummy with a graduate degree in English literature—made her onscreen debut that year in Afternoon Delighta minor indie with some major hang-ups about sex work.
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