Two New York Cities exist in "The Object of My Affection." One is an affluent city of power, a place where prominent tastemakers such as Sidney and Constance Miller (Alan Alda and Allison Janney) throw celebrity-studded dinner parties in massive Park Avenue apartments, then retreat to the casual luxury of the Hamptons to unwind.
The other is a liberal dream of a tolerant melting pot, where doing good work takes precedence over making money. It's inhabited by Nina Borowski (Jennifer Aniston), a social worker who lives in a small, shabby-chic Brooklyn walk-up, and George Hanson (Paul Rudd), a teacher at a progressive private elementary school.
Director Nicholas Hynter ("The Madness of King George") and playwright-screenwriter Wendy Wasserstein ("The Heidi Chronicles"), who adapted Stephen McCauley's novel, find much of their humor in the clash of these two New Yorks. But their main concern in the sunny but emotionally complex "The Object of My Affection" is trying to pinpoint the elusive nature of love.
When Nina and George meet at one of the Millers' parties, they're drawn to each other as outsiders, then become roommates after George's fatuous boyfriend, Joley (Tim Daly), uses the occasion to dump him.
The arrangement is temporary, Nina assures her wary boyfriend, Vince (John Pankow), a civil-liberties lawyer. But the relationship between Nina and George soon grows into a strong bond: They have achieved the intimacy, trust and companionship of lovers without the whole messy sex part.
When a pregnant Nina decides to raise her child with George instead of the biological father, Vince, she's envisioning an emotional utopia. But Hynter and Wasserstein know that even in an enlightened wonderland, new social rules don't always mesh with the idiosyncratic individuals who trumpet them.
Aniston (miles away from "Friends") creates a surprisingly strong and resourceful Nina, while Rudd's compassionate George caters to the needs of others while still understanding the importance of his own desires.
"The Object of My Affection isn't simply about unrequited love, but shows how even the most self-aware can still be seduced by their own mythology.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.