A Family Affair – A Messy Lofty Romance Flick

A Family Affair Review
A Family Affair. (L-R) Nicole Kidman as Brooke Harwood and Zac Efron as Chris Cole in A Family Affair. Cr. Aaron Epstein/Netflix © 2024

Once women in Hollywood get to a certain age they either get sent down one of two paths, one of instantly being cast as the grandmother or two falling into the trope of dating a younger man to feel like themselves gain. And the new Netflix release this weekend A Family Affair puts Nicole Kidman squarely in her Stella Gets her Groove Back era.

A Family Affair is a lighthearted romance movie, following a budding love affair with a mother and her daughter’s boss (we won’t even go into the levels of awkwardness that would be anyhow). But when Zara (Joey King) quits working for her actor boss Chris Cole (Zack Effron), he comes to her house to get her back. Instead, he meets Brooke (Nicole Kidman) and they hit it off. First dating in secret, but later doing it openly despite the rift it causes between the mother and daughter.

A Family Affair. (L-R) Joey King as Zara Ford, Nicole Kidman as Brooke Harwood and Kathy Bates as Leila Ford in A Family Affair. Cr. Tina Rowden/Netflix © 2024

The movie has funny moments, even if Zara seems to be acting like a petulant teenager throughout the movie while she’s supposed to be 24. But the biggest issue he movie has is the trope that Brooke needs to find herself by dating this much younger man. We’ve seen this over and over in movies, including just a couple of months ago with Anne Hathaway in The Idea of You. Sure, both the age difference is a lot less between Kidman and Efron than you’d suspect, but why does she need a younger man to feel empowered at all? Is this supposed to be a lofty romantic idea or is this somehow empowering to women? Why is it she can’t find herself and her power again without a young and attractive man by her side? It just seems so overdone and exhausted as an idea that the movie gets lost in the mess of it.

A Family Affair. (L-R) Nicole Kidman as Brooke Harwood and Zac Efron as Chris Cole in A Family Affair. Cr. Aaron Epstein/Netflix © 2024

Did we hate A Family Affair? Not at all, it just seems to be missing a lot of something. It’s an easy watch and one you can put on and turn off your brain for. Could it have been better? Absolutely. Especially if it didn’t lean so hard on tropes and outdated ideas. But is it an easy couple-hour movie to watch pretty people on the screen in a slightly ridiculous romance movie? It sure is. There’s definitely an audience for this type of movie, it just seems like it could have more to it that would have brought it to a different level. But maybe that is why it is a direct-to-streaming release.

A FAMILY AFFAIR which will be released on Netflix on June 28th

Overall Rating

Three Stars Review

About A Family Affair

A Family Affair

A surprising romance kicks off comic consequences for a young woman, her mother and her movie star boss as they face the complications of love, sex, and identity.


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