The Object of My Affection (1998) – Review

3 Stars

Paul Rudd has such a warm on-screen presence that, during The Object of My Affection, I found myself inadvertently rooting for his character. That’s no fault of the screenplay, which does a fairly balanced job, it’s just that Rudd is so likeable despite the messy predicaments the movie puts him in. He’s in excellent company here. Surrounded by co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Alan Alda, and Nigel Hawthorne all of whom create vivid lasting impressions. The writing here is better than the genre norm, and is full of interesting people and sub-plots.

New York City social worker Nina Borowski (Jennifer Aniston) invites her gay friend, George (Paul Rudd), to move into her apartment after he breaks up with his longtime lover, Robert (Tim Daly). Meanwhile, Nina gets pregnant and decides to keep the baby — but end her relationship with the child’s father, boyfriend Vince (John Pankow). As Nina and George live and raise the baby together, the two grow close — and Nina realizes she’s beginning to fall in love with her friend.

The Object of My Affection has an ending which veers from the conclusions we’ve come to expect from the romantic comedy genre. It sticks closer to reality than what you’d, maybe, expect. This is a project that seems as if it was inspired by the works of James L. Brooks, Cameron Crowe, and Billy Wilder. The characters are smarter and more literate than is typical for this type of film, and the cast does a good job conveying their uncertainty with the situation unraveling around them. The Object of My Affection is a minor film with a surprisingly potent pay-off. It ranks amongst the better comedy/drams of the year.

Director: Nicholas Hytner
Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, Alan Alda

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