Today: April 18, 2024

Concussion

Much like the old bus adage, you wait for one movie about a bored housewife turning to the sex industry to spice up her life and then two come along in the same year. But whereas Jill Soloway’s delightfully performed Afternoon Delight sizzled thanks to Juno Temple’s pole-dancing temptress, can Stacie Passon’s lesbian-themed drama give just as much pleasure.

After a bang to the head, bored housewife and property fixer-upper Abby (Robin Weigert) decides it’s time to explore her sexuality a touch more and begins experimenting with escorts thanks to a recommendation from her handyman. When she decides to get in on the act as well, she begins to find pleasure in some unexpected places.

Anchored by another terrific central performance (Afternoon Delight’s Kathryn Hahn enjoyed a similarly enlightening role) Concussion makes good use of its lead, never dwelling too long on the potential downside of her actions in terms of her relationship with partner Kate (Julie Fain Lawrence).

So while Abby’s off busy getting busy it’s only when she encounters someone she knows that things begin to get really personal as the issues surrounding her, at times selfish, behaviour mean we struggle to empathise at times with her plight.

That we empathise or are engaged at all is down to Weigert’s warm performance, never reaching the comic heights of Hahn’s but remaining just as enjoyable and sympathetic for anyone who’s either been through or is about to embrace their own mid-life crisis.

And while the supporting cast do just that, the fact that so much of the film focuses on Abby’s quest for personal fulfillment. The result is we’re never drawn into their lives as much as we’d like to be meaning that a satisfying yet slightly abrupt ending does little to suggest that perhaps Abby’s incorrigible nature, unlike that bang to her head, will do anything to change her mind.

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