The Object of My Affection

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media
The Object of My Affection Movie Poster Image
'90s romcom about nontraditional family; cursing.
  • R
  • 1998
  • 111 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

You don't find anyone new until you're brave enough to give up the old.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Despite best intentions and blinded by their love and friendship, Nina and George mistakenly believe they can permanently commit to raising a child together.

Violence
Sex

Nina tells her sexually active teen girls, "I like sex and I like boys a lot," gives them condoms, and advises them that they're in charge of their own bodies and don't need to please boys or succumb to peer pressures. Two men are seen kissing and in bed together shirtless. A woman kisses and unbuttons the pants of a gay man she loves.

Language

"F--k," "s--t," "pr--k," "homo," and "d--k."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink alcohol. A character smokes a joint.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Object of My Affection is a 1998 look at the ticking biological clock of an unmarried, childless woman trying to balance her work and love life. In this case, the 30-something has fallen in love with her gay best friend. When she decides to have the baby of the boyfriend she dumped, her best friend agrees to raise the child with her. Made before gay marriage was legal and when it was rarer to see gay couples raising families, the movie makes the case that straight, gay, or otherwise, everyone wants love and family in their lives. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," and "d--k." Two men are seen kissing and in bed with shirts off. Nina tells her sexually active teen girls, "I like sex and I like boys a lot," gives them condoms, and advises them that they're in charge of their own bodies and don't need to please boys or succumb to peer pressure. Adults drink alcohol. A character smokes a joint.

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What's the story?

In THE OBJECT OF MY AFFECTION, 30-something social worker Nina (Jennifer Aniston) doesn't love her boyfriend Vince (John Pankow), the man who made her pregnant, but she does love her gay best friend, George (Paul Rudd). When his boyfriend dumps him, George moves in temporarily to Nina's place and they develop a loving friendship so deep that George agrees to raise Nina's child with her. Nina, it turns out, has truly fallen in love with George. George falls for another man, throwing their friendship into chaos as well as their plans for joint parenthood. Loose ends are tied up effortlessly into the film's neat ending.  

Is it any good?

Featuring two of the most likable screen presences around, Rudd and Aniston, this movie transcends its mostly pedestrian story, giving it a giant leg up on the watchability scale. There's no need for a spoiler alert with a film that from the opening minutes is moving obviously toward a happy ending. The wrap-up feels contrived and unrealistic, but satisfying in that lots of seemingly nice people turn out to be, if not entirely happy, at least reasonably satisfied with their lives. The movie shows its age at times, but parents can remind teens that The Object of My Affection came out before gay marriage was legal and it was rarer to see gay couples raising families.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what "family" means. What is a family? Do marriages with biological offspring define what a family is, or do the intentions of the parties involved define it?

  • Why do you think Nina's plan to raise her child with a gay man wasn't going to work?

  • How is The Object of My Affection dated, and how is it still relevant?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romcoms

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