Afterglow
R
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -2

Two married couples, one middle-aged and the other in their 30s, swap partners in this bittersweet look at marriage. Lucky and Phyllis (Nick Nolte and Julie Christie) don't communicate because of a betrayal years earlier. He's a good-natured handy man who enjoys "accommodating" his female customers, and Phyllis, a former actress, watches old movies on television and sips gin all day long. She knows very well that Lucky is unfaithful, but is so cold towards him, it doesn't seem to matter. Marianne (Lara Flynn Boyle), the young wife of a successful attorney, hires Lucky to do some remodeling. She desperately wants a baby, but her husband Jeffrey (Johnny Lee Miller) doesn't. Lucky's charm captivates Marianne, and they begin a passionate love affair. By a strange coincidence Jeffrey and Phyllis meet, are attracted to each other and he invites her to join him for an out-of-town weekend fling. Amusing but confusing, poignant and believeable describe this interesting love story. Ms. Christie's performance has earned an Oscar nomination for best actress.

The film does not condone adultery but illustrates how two couples who love each other think infidelity, not forgiveness, will solve their problems. Lucky and Phyllis harbor bitter resentment over the past, and Jeffrey is so determined to maintain an orderly, childless marriage, he refuses any kind of intimate relationship with his wife. Marianne angrily tells Jeffrey she will have a baby with or without him, and the next day she seduces a most willing Lucky. After some passionate fondling and kissing, they are shown having sex in a tub, with breast nudity shown. Lucky also fondles an elderly woman after she makes blatant advances while he is fixing her sink. Along with this wife-swapping is a barrage of 11 obscenities and 14 profanities, plus several crudities. Afterglow could have been just as effective without the gratuitous graphic sex scene, fondling and foul language

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics, 550 Madison Ave., 8th Flr., NY, NY 10022

Summary
Crude Language: Many ( 5 ) times - Mild
Obscene Language: Many (12) times (f-word 2, s-word 6, other 4)
Profanity: Many (14) times - Regular 12 (G-d 3, J-C 2, J 3, G 3, C 1), Exclamatory 2
Violence: Few times - Mild and Moderate (men fight briefly, woman hits husband in stomach, pushing and shoving)
Sexual Intercourse: Once (graphic, with breast nudity); implied once between husband and wife
Nudity: Once (breast nudity in sex scene); near nudity few times (cleavage; woman in clinging nightgown)
Homosexual Conduct: None, but man announces he is gay to his boss
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Many times (woman tries to entice her husband to have sex; passionate kissing and fondling; man puts hands on clothed breasts; women make sexual overtures to repairman)
Drug Abuse: Several times (alcohol drinking; woman drinks gin
Other: References to unconventional sex and ovulation; adultery has negative consequence
Running Time: 115 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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