MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -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
Sony Pictures Classics, 550 Madison Ave., 8th Flr., NY, NY 10022

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

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)

Sex: 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)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: 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)

Drugs: 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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