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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Object of My Affection
Object of My Affection
Fox // R // January 8, 2002
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 12, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

While I've never been a major fan of TV's "Friends", I've watched more than my fair share of episodes while surfing past NBC on Thursday nights. I've watched the cast over the past several years and while I find most of them to be fine actors, there's really one one that I feel has matured significantly over the years - Jennifer Aniston. While "Friends" doesn't exactly offer opportunities for drama, even Aniston's comedic timing has gotten sharper over the years. Although her film roles have often offered little substance and less success, there are moments in some of them that really offer her a chance to shine; she's got a fine mix of sweet, funny and occasionally, a bit awkward enough to be even a bit more accessable and likeable than she already is.

"Object of My Affection" is a 1998 effort from director Nicholas Hyter ("The Madness of King George") whose history of highly respected works likely was a main reason that the film was able to round up a strong cast and crew. It's unfortunate that the film couldn't have found a better screenplay instead of one that plays a bit too much like a sitcom, a fact the often-chirpy score reinforces.

The film stars Aniston as Nina Borowski, a social worker in New York City who takes in George (Paul Rudd of "Clueless") after he's dumped by Robert (Tim Daly). Nina is seeing Vince (John Pankow, "Mad About You"), but she's hanging out and becoming better friends with George. When Nina becomes pregnant by Vince, she decides that she'd rather raise the child with George, as Vince is too much of a jerk who doesn't even listen to her.

The performances in the film aren't bad - and certainly, there's a fine cast involved, including Allison Janey ("West Wing"), Alan Alda, Nigel Hawthorne (who unfortunately recently passed away) and many others. The film also has a talented crew, including famed cinematographer Oliver Stapleton. The film's screenplay is generally the problem, involving too many characters and predictable situations. This is a main area where I thought the film suffers in the second half, as I thought it became boring and overlong, rambling towards the obvious and yet not very believable happy conclusion, making it nearly impossible to care about its attempts to reach the final scene. While I don't mind cursing, the screenplay has a few instances that stand out where the use of profanity seemed awkward and unnecessary.

As previously mentioned, the score doesn't help matters - it goes a bit too heavy on the sappy moments and gets a bit too perky and sweet during the funny moments, trying to underline and push both sides. Unfortunately, neither the score or the film itself is successful in its attempts to offer either side, even though the actors (especially Aniston) try.


The DVD

VIDEO: Hytner wisely enlisted the talents of cinematographer Oliver Stapleton for "Object of my Affection" and the result is a crisp, pleasant looking picture that captures the New York City locations quite vividly. The film's 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation from Fox does justice to the film's imagery, as sharpness and detail are quite satisfactory, with good detail even into the background.

Thankfully, there's little in the way of bothersome problems to take away from the picture. Slight grain and a few minor specks are seen on the print used, but the film really remains clear and clean for the majority. No edge enhancement was seen, nor did I notice any pixelation. Colors are very pleasant, as the film's color palette remains natural and bright. A very nice presentation from Fox.

SOUND: On the other hand, since this is a romantic comedy, the sound is really treated as something that's largely unimportant. Given the fact that the characters live in a major city, one would think this would call for at least some light ambience from the surrounds. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen - in fact, the rear speakers are hardly put into any use at all. 99% of the film's sound comes from the front, but at least the audio quality is fine - the score is crisp, while dialogue sounds clear and easily understood. An adequate presentation, but no more than that.

MENUS:: Basic, non-animated menus that simply use film-themed images and cover art.

EXTRAS: Short promotional featurette, 4 TV spots and trailers for "Object of My Affection", Aniston's "Picture Perfect", "The Brothers McMullen", "Drive Me Crazy" and "Simply Irresistable".

Final Thoughts: "Object of My Affection" does have its share of fans, but I personally found it predictable and eventually boring, even if the actors try. Fans of the film will be pleased, though - Fox has provided a DVD with minimal supplements, but good audio/video and a low retail price.

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