A Family Affair American Movie Review: Should Watch Or Not

The newcomer screenwriter Carrie Solomon and director Richard LaGravenese attempt to tread this territory with A Family Affair, a romantic comedy for Netflix. Despite a charming premise, the film struggles with pacing and tone, resolving the unresolved sexual tension too early and losing its comedic edge well before the end of the first act, resulting in a somewhat solemn viewing experience.

A Family Affair American Movie Review

A Family Affair American Movie Review

A Family Affair American Movie Plot and Character Dynamics:

The film reunites Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron, who previously co-starred in The Paperboy in 2013. Efron plays Chris Cole, a self-absorbed and vain young movie star in Los Angeles who mistreats his beleaguered assistant, Zara, portrayed with quirky charm by Joey King. Zara’s tasks include catering to Chris’s every whim, particularly organizing the purchase of the special “breakup” diamond earrings he gives to young women he plans to dump.

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The plot thickens when Chris meets Zara’s incredibly attractive widowed mother, Brooke Harwood (Nicole Kidman), a celebrated writer inspired by Joan Didion. Brooke’s sensitivity brings out Chris’s hidden niceness and vulnerability, leading to an unexpected romantic relationship. This development horrifies Zara, who must continue managing Chris’s trivial needs, such as picking up his dry cleaning, while grappling with her mother’s involvement with her boss.

A Family Affair American Movie Review:

The initial setup of A Family Affair is engaging, with a promising high concept and Ephronesque excitable phone conversation montages. However, the film falters as it transitions into a cliched breakup and makeup plot. When Chris must suddenly shift from being a hilarious airhead to Mr. Perfect, the story becomes less believable and more insufferable.

A Family Affair American Movie Review

A particularly awkward moment occurs when Chris gives Brooke a Christmas present: a cheaply made book with gold-embossed lettering titled The Brooke Harwood Anthology. This compilation of Brooke’s essays from The New Yorker and Vogue is intended as a heartfelt gesture but comes off as oddly disingenuous, undermining the character development.

A Family Affair American Movie Cast Performances:

  • Nicole Kidman delivers a nuanced performance as Brooke Harwood, bringing depth to the character despite the film’s shortcomings.
  • Zac Efron portrays Chris Cole with a blend of charm and vanity, though his character’s sudden transformation is unconvincing.
  • Joey King shines as Zara, capturing the frustration and humor of her character’s predicament.
  • Liza Koshy and Kathy Bates provide strong supporting performances, adding layers to the narrative.

A Family Affair American Movie Director and Writer:

Directed by: Richard LaGravenese.
Written by: Carrie Solomon.

Where to Watch A Family Affair American Movie:

On Netflix.

A Family Affair American Movie Rating:

Rating: 2.5/5

FAQs: (Frequently asked Questions)

  1. When was A Family Affair released on Netflix?
    A Family Affair was released on Netflix on June 28, 2024.
  2. Who are the main stars of A Family Affair?
    The main stars are Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron, Joey King, Liza Koshy, and Kathy Bates.
  3. What is the main plot of A Family Affair?
    The film revolves around Zara, who discovers her Hollywood star boss Chris Cole is romantically involved with her widowed mother, Brooke.
  4. Who directed A Family Affair?
    The film was directed by Richard LaGravenese.
  5. Who wrote the screenplay for A Family Affair?
    The screenplay was written by Carrie Solomon.
  6. Is A Family Affair a standalone movie or part of a series?
    A Family Affair is a standalone movie.
  7. What genre does A Family Affair belong to?
    A Family Affair is a romantic comedy.
  8. What is a notable moment in the film involving a Christmas present?
    Chris gives Brooke a Christmas present: a book titled The Brooke Harwood Anthology, which includes all her essays and stories.


While A Family Affair has its moments of humor and charm, it ultimately falls short of its potential due to uneven pacing and tonal shifts. The film’s promising premise is undermined by a lackluster execution, making it a missed opportunity for a memorable romantic comedy.

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