In this series of articles, I’ll be posting reviews that have recently resurfaced. A number of the reviews I wrote in the past I thought had been lost to time, but after coming to a realization that they might still exist on the Wayback Machine, I was able to relocate many of them. I believe there are still some that are lost and they may be lost in perpetuity, but I will periodically search for that data or re-write those reviews that I have never found or which I never wrote to begin with.
For now, this series will be extensive with over 300 regular (400+ words), short (400- words), and quickie (1 to 2 paragraphs) reviews. I will attempt to combine them as best as I can. Reviews written in early 1998 or earlier, no date of creation exists. I will post the original writing date where known, otherwise the date will be listed as “unknown.” These reviews were written between the date of my site’s founding in 1996 through much of 2002. It was only after this period that I settled on the standard format and length of reviews as well as posting each one to its own individual page, which is why the old data was ultimately lost.
All but the review content has been replaced to match my current formatting guidelines, which are a bit more thorough than they might have been in those early days. Please note that I am attempting to retain as much of the original editing integrity as possible, so spelling and/or grammar errors may still be present. This may also mean that some factual data is not there as IMDb was not as ubiquitous as it is now. So, let’s get on to today’s review.
The Object of My Affection
Wendy Asserstein (Novel: Stephen McCauley)
Paul Rudd, Kali Rocha, Jennifer Aniston, Lauren Pratt, Liam Aiken, Alan Alda, Allison Janney, Tim Daly
A Kindergarten teacher and a social worker are unlikely friends until the social worker falls in love with the teacher. There’s only one problem. He’s gay.
Paul Rudd is Kindergarten teacher George Hanson. His life was perfect, or so he thought. While at a dinner party hosted by one of his kids’ parents, he meets Nina Borowski, a social worker, who inadvertently tells him of his impending break up with his boyfriend, Robert Joley (Tim Daly). This is news to him and from there on a friendship forms with this new acquaintance.
Nina is engaged to a man her parents think isn’t good enough for her. George’s brother tries to fix him up with a ear-nose-throat specialist who has a penchant for leatherwear.
To make matters worse, after he moves in with her and goes out dancing with her on a regular basis, her fiancé gets a bit jealous of this gay man who’s doing what he should be doing: living with her.
Push comes to shove. Dates are made and broken and various interesting situations befall the two. Little does she know, but Nina has fallen in love with him and after she discovers her pregnancy, she becomes more entranced when he agrees to be the child’s father figure.
Nicholas Hytner takes a rather pedestrian approach to direction. He too often lets his cast get out of his hands and forgets when to move things along.
Jennifer Aniston shines in a role that should make her Friends cast members jealous. She has a certain charm that makes you feel for her despite knowing what will likely happen in the end.
Paul Rudd is enchanting. He brings a succint and proper attitude to a not-so-needy gay character that easily combats the traditional stereotype. He downplays enough situations and reacts brilliantly in some scenes to allow his character to come through easily.
Nigel Hawthrone plays Rodney Fraser whose live-in student falls in love with George despite Rodney’s feelings for him. Hawthorne acts brilliantly and easily outdoes the rest of the cast. This is probably his most significant achievement since his astounding turn in The Madness of King George. He brings a great deal of humanity to his character and makes it very easy to care when he gets hurt.
The rest of the cast works on a standard level to an inventive screenply if not one that oftens falls a bit flat.
If you’re a fan of gay films, this is one that you should check out. While not as hilarious as last year’s In & Out, it slips past 1995’s Jeffrey in quality and entertainment.
I don’t see any awards in this film’s future.