Owen Gleiberman
January 23, 1998 AT 05:00 AM EST

Afterglow

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
114 minutes
performer
Lara Flynn Boyle, Julie Christie, Jonny Lee Miller, Nick Nolte
director
Alan Rudolph
distributor
Sony Pictures Classics
author
Alan Rudolph
genre
Drama, Romance

We gave it an A-

The writer-director Alan Rudolph creates an impish roundelay about two married couples, one middle-aged, one younger, who have affairs with each other’s partners. Nick Nolte stars as Lucky Mann, a sexually voracious handyman, but the cliche is both a joke and a fake-out. Julie Christie, as a former B-movie star who has been married to Lucky for 24 years, does another variation on the depressive Rudolph heroine. Christie, though, is anything but depressive; she drops her zingers with world-weary aplomb. Afterglow marks the first time since Choose Me, in 1984, that Rudolph’s voluptuously indulgent style — swoony yet acrid, in love with love itself — has coalesced.

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