Afterglow gets off to a weak start—and it's occasionally hampered by stilted dialogue and cutesy conceits; Nolte's character is named Lucky Mann—but it is nevertheless a strong, frequently touching film that benefits from a pair of brilliant performances by Nolte and Christie.
While these may not be the most unusual themes to fashion into a motion picture, Rudolph's atypical approach to the characters and their situations makes for an intriguing, if not always pleasant, movie.
Despite his flair for trenchant dialogue, nicely complemented by Mark Isham's bluesy jazz score, Rudolph whets our appetite but then fails to deliver. The picture limps to its ending and leaves us with nothing to hold onto.
Julie Christie is glorious, and that's most of what you need to know about this slight, loosely structured and self-consciously ironic soap opera in which two couples -- one young and troubled, the other older but hardly wiser -- get themselves into a series of fine messes.