The Object of My Affection

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The Object of My Affection
Theatrical release poster
Directed byNicholas Hytner
Produced byLaurence Mark
Screenplay byWendy Wasserstein
Based onThe Object of My Affection
by Stephen McCauley
Music byGeorge Fenton
CinematographyOliver Stapleton
Edited byTariq Anwar
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • April 17, 1998 (1998-04-17)
Running time
111 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$15 million
Box office$46.9 million[1]

The Object of My Affection is a 1998 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Nicholas Hytner and starring Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd. The film was adapted from the novel of the same name by Stephen McCauley and the screenplay was written by Wendy Wasserstein. The story concerns a pregnant New York social worker who develops romantic feelings for her gay best friend and decides to raise her child with him, and the complications that ensue.

It was filmed in 1997 in various locations around New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut.[2] The film received mixed reviews and was a moderate box office success grossing $46.9 million on a $15 million budget.


Social worker Nina Borowski (Jennifer Aniston) is a bright young woman living in a cozy Brooklyn apartment. Nina attends a party given by her stepsister Constance (Allison Janney) and her husband, Sidney (Alan Alda). There Nina meets George Hanson (Paul Rudd), a young, handsome, and gay first grade teacher. Nina tells George that her stepsister is constantly trying to fix her up with somebody from higher society, completely ignoring the fact that Nina has a boyfriend, Vince (John Pankow). During the conversation, Nina offers George a room in her apartment as she has just heard from his boyfriend, Dr. Robert Joley (Tim Daly), that George is looking for somewhere to live. George, not knowing about Robert's plans, is taken aback and heartbroken, and after the party the two split up. George accepts Nina's offer and moves into her apartment.

The two soon become best friends; they watch films together and go ballroom dancing. Everything is great until Nina announces that she is pregnant. Vince, the baby's father, wants to marry her, but his constant control drives Nina crazy; she leaves him and George offers to help raise her child. For some time, they live together in her apartment in Brooklyn. Everything is perfect again until Nina finds that her love for George is growing every day, especially after he tells her he had a girlfriend in high school, leading her to believe they might develop a romantic relationship.

One afternoon, George and Nina are about to have sex when George gets a phone call from Robert who tells him how much he has missed him and invites him away for the weekend. George is confused but agrees to go. Nina feels threatened and gets jealous. George and Robert do not re-establish their relationship, but George meets Paul James (Amo Gulinello), a young actor, and the two are attracted to each other and have sex. Meanwhile, Nina is staying with Constance at a vacation mansion and is extremely moody. She has a horrible time and decides to head back home and asks George to return as well. Her purse is snatched on the way and a friendly police officer, Louis (Kevin Carroll), gives her a ride home.

Nina decides to invite Paul and his older acting mentor with whom he lives, Rodney (Nigel Hawthorne), for Thanksgiving after a rather prickly brunch with a late arriving George, and his brother and his brother's latest fiancée. After the evening winds down, Paul stays the night with George, resulting in a heated argument between George and Nina, and heartache for Rodney.

At George's brother's wedding, they continue their discussion as Nina has begun to realize the reality of the situation. Nina fully explains to George her feelings for him. George, who loves Nina as his best friend, tells her that, ultimately, he wants to be with Paul. A few hours later, Nina gives birth to a beautiful girl she names Molly. Vince, ecstatic, visits her in the hospital, but when he leaves to complete paperwork, Nina and George remain alone with Molly. Nina asks George when he plans to move out to which he replies that he doesn't know. She asks him to move out of her apartment before she gets home from the hospital, stating that it would hurt her too much to have him stay any longer knowing that he doesn't love her the same way she does him.

The end of the film takes place at George's school eight years later, in which all of the main characters go to see Molly in a musical production that George has directed. George is now the principal of the school. Nina is now in a relationship with Louis, and George is still with Paul, both of them now happy. Rodney is also there, still considered 'one of the family' by Louis & Nina. The film ends as Nina, George, and young Molly (Sarah Hyland) (who refers to George as her "Uncle George") walk together down the sidewalk, hand-in-hand, on their way to get coffee and talk.



The shooting took place from June to July 1997, in New York.[3][4]


Box office[edit]

The Object of My Affection was released in US theaters on April 17, 1998, and took in $9,725,855 during its opening weekend, coming in at No. 2 at the box office in 1,890 theaters, averaging $5,146 per theater. The film went on to gross $29,187,243 in the United States alone, over a span of five weekends.[5] The film continued to open in European countries throughout the fall and winter of 1998, and ultimately grossed $17,718,646 outside of the United States.

Critical reception[edit]

Critical reaction to the film was mixed. Roger Ebert gave the film two stars, saying:

The Object of My Affection deals with some real issues and has scenes that work, but you can see the wheels of the plot turning so clearly that you doubt the characters have much freedom to act on their own.[6]

Ruthe Stein of the San Francisco Chronicle said the film "occasionally borders on being too clever. But that's a small quibble about a movie that gets so much right."[7]

The film currently holds a rating of 52% on the film critic aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes based on 58 reviews. The site's consensus states: "Despite heartfelt performances from Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd, The Object of My Affection suffers from too many plot contrivances and frequent turns into rom-com sappiness."[8] Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score from 1 to 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gave the film a 51 based on 18 critics.[9]

Awards and Nominations[edit]

In efforts of the film it received a GLAAD Media award nomination for Outstanding Film (Wide Release), and won the London Critics Circle Film award for British Supporting Actor of the Year awarded to actor Nigel Hawthorne.[10]


The Object of My Affection OST
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedJanuary 1, 1998
LabelArk 21 Records
George Fenton chronology
Dangerous Beauty
The Object of My Affection OST
My Name Is Joe

All tracks are written by George Fenton.

1."The Object of My Affection"2:31
2."The School Show (Front Titles)"2:21
3."Schon Rosmarin"1:54
4."Off To Work"1:40
5."Nina's News"1:34
6."The Dance Class (You Were Mean For Me)"1:55
7."Father And Son"1:04
8."Jolie Calls/Off To College"4:29
9."The Announcement (You Were Meant For Me)"0:40
10."Home From The Hamptons Part 1"2:44
11."Home From The Hampstons Part 2"1:16
13."New Friends"2:18
14."Lewis Reflects"1:16
15."George Moves Out"1:05
Total length:28:50

Additional Music[edit]

1."You Were Meant for Me"Sting3:49
2."You Were Meant for Me (New York Version)"Sting4:11
Total length:8:00


  1. ^
  2. ^ filming locations – The Object of My Affection
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "The Object of My Affection". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 22, 2012.
  6. ^ Roger Ebert, The Object of My Affection, 17 April 1998
  7. ^ ''Unusual Romance Told With Great `Affection' – Rudd, Aniston sparkle in gay-straight love story" Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 April 1998
  8. ^ Rotten Tomatoes
  9. ^
  10. ^ The Object of My Affection, retrieved 2018-04-14

External links[edit]