Picks and Pans Review: The Object of My Affection
The Object of My Affection is a warm, fuzzy pink slipper of a romantic comedy that verges too often on precious. Loosely adapted by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein from Stephen McCauley's 1987 novel of the same name, the movie is about a social worker (Aniston) who falls in love and lust with her best pal (Rudd), a teacher. Only one problem: he's openly homosexual. This is not exactly a relationship with a future.
The two first meet as Rudd is being dumped by his longtime lover (Tim Daly). Aniston invites him to share her Brooklyn apartment, and they become instant soul mates, a development her beau (Pankow), a bellicose lawyer, finds threatening. As well he should. Upon discovering that she is pregnant by Pankow, Aniston ditches him—a move that seems more plot-driven than character-motivated—and fixates upon Rudd as her Mr. Right. "We can make this up for ourselves," she tells him. "None of the old rules apply."
The problem is that the two can't agree on a new set of rules. Aniston, who seems too grounded to become this romantically deluded, keeps pushing Rudd for greater intimacy. Will he bend to her will and go straight? Affection, as directed by Nicholas Hytner, dawdles mightily before finally arriving at an ending only the most naive viewer will find surprising. There is, however, no faulting Aniston's and Rudd's performances. The Friends' star with the brightest big-screen future, she winningly comes across here as an Annie Hall for the millennium. And Rudd (Clueless) is sweetness personified. (R)
Bottom Line: Appealing cast, but we're not buying what they're selling
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