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The Object of My Affection Reviews

Can one want too much of a good thing? That's the question this charming, witty romantic comedy explores. Social worker Nina (Jennifer Aniston) and grade-school teacher George (Paul Rudd) meet at the Manhattan dinner party of well-connected literary agent Sidney Miller (Alan Alda) and his wife, Constance (Allison Jenney), and discover that they have more in common with each other than with the rest of the obnoxious, high-powered and self-absorbed guests. Nina's dating an overbearing Legal Aid lawyer (John Pankow) to whom she won't quite commit, and George has a boyfriend (Tim Daly) who unceremoniously dumps him, paving the way for the pair to become roommates. Soon they're taking dancing lessons and looking, well, amazingly cute together. But George's gayness is the thing that can't be overcome by force of affection or desire, and what makes this movie so refreshing is that his sexuality is mostly unmitigated by Hollywood conventions. Director Nicholas Hytner's commitment to telling this story and letting us get to know the characters -- not just the leads -- is evident; the supporting players are more than two-dimensional backup for George and Nina, and playwright Wendy Wasserstein (who adapted Stephen McCauley's novel) hands the film's best lines to Nigel Hawthorne (Hytner's MADNESS OF KING GEORGE star), who plays a waspish theater critic. You come away with a remarkable sense of the filmmakers and actors working together harmoniously as they delve into the heart of relationships between friends and lovers, finding, as Shakespeare wrote, that "Friendship is constant in all other things/Save in the office and affairs of love."