Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Object of My Affection

I loved Jennifer Aniston on Friends, but for some reason was never really drawn to seeing her in other projects. Might be that I liked her character Rachel Green more than the actress herself, but other than Marley and Me, (on a date) and The Good Girl, (for Jake Gyllenhaal) I had not seen any of her movies. This past weekend, I caught 1998's The Object of My Affection on TV. Had I seen it listed, I probably would have skipped it, but came upon it while mindlessly flipping through channels late Friday night.

I came into the movie about 10 minutes in and stopped because of seeing Allison Janney on screen. Within a minute or two I was introduced to Jennifer and Paul Rudd's characters and quickly realized the story involved the relationship between a gay man and his straight female room mate. Not sure why I hadn't heard of this story before, I guess I just thought it was another of Aniston's rom com's with her and Rudd as romantic leads. The movie has a great cast and in addition to Aniston, Rudd and Janney, the film also features Tim Daly, John Pankow, Steve Zahn and Alan Alda.

The movie immediately hit a chord with me, and like many gay men in their 20's, I was involved in a relationship very much like the one explored in the film. I two lived with a woman for about a year and half in my late 20's and the relationship became complicated we discussed having a child together, despite not being romantically involved. There ended up being a baby, not mine, but with the man she eventually married. I am the baby's Godfather, but unlike George and Nina in the movie, my relationship with my best friend, didn't survive the complicated twists and turns of our time together.

I am always thrown when the Twin Towers show up in a scene in a pre 2001 New York based film. That wasn't the main reason however, that I struggled to shake a sense of sadness and regret after watching the movie. I enjoyed the film, even with it's few outdated gay references. The relationship between the George and Nina characters was just so real to men, and although it's been over 10 years since I lived with my Nina, it's still a bit a raw. No matter what the circumstance, when you plan your life with someone, it's always difficult when one person moves on and gets that planned life with another.

There was a second relationship in the film that also brought back a few painful memories. The relationship between the older Rodney (Nigel Hawthorne) and his young protege Paul (Amo Gulinello) was also familiar to me. Most of us have been involved with someone we fall in love with, only to have them not return the same feelings. If it's a friend, or someone you're connected with, it can be painful to watch them move on with another.

Rudd & Gulinello

I really liked actor Amo Gulinello who played Paul, Rudd's boyfriend in the last part of the film. Gulinello's IMDB page indicates this was his first film role and after a few other parts, stopped acting on screen in 2003 after an appearance in Sex and the City. A quick google search however, tells us Gulinello has continued to perform in theatre and performed with Cirque Due Soleil between 2004 and 2012.

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