Netflix just dropped a cute and funny rom-com, A Family Affair (2024), that stars Nicole Kidman, Joey King, Zac Efron, and Kathy Bates. The movie follows Zara, who finds herself in a tussle when she discovers that her brilliant, loving mother, Brooke, is having an affair with her self-absorbed boss, Chris. Zara is adamant about protecting her mother from her womanizing boss, but will she be able to understand that her mother is a grown adult who can make her own decisions?

A Family Affair has a formulaic setting, but it works because of its charming humor. Its engaging tone often makes you chuckle with its sharp-witted humor and dialogue. The approach to handling the mother-daughter relationship and the romantic affiliation between a middle-aged woman and a superstar with a more than 15-year age gap is sensible, which is a delight to watch.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen Nicole Kidman play fun roles like this; she looks gorgeous with her tall, shiny, beautiful character gushing over newfound love with a young man. Zac Efron also gives a pretty consistent performance playing a self-absorbed, vulnerable superstar who is completely clueless without his brilliant assistant, whom he often grills more than necessary. As for Joey King, it is refreshing to see characters like Zara that one can resonate with. Showing a young woman determined to achieve something in life but being completely clueless and angsty is a refreshing change for movies that typically portray such characters.

A Family Affair is a fun movie to watch for everyone, especially those who are into rom-coms that unfold with chaotic, dysfunctional energy, albeit with a self-realization of how things can be handled in a certain way if we let go of our intrusive thoughts and inhibitions.

In this article, I discuss Netflix’s A Family Affair (2024) in detail and explain whether Brooke, Chris, and Zara handle their ‘family affair’ well.

The article contains spoilers. 

A Family Affair (2024) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

24-year-old Zara (Joey King) assists Hollywood superstar Chris Cole (Zac Efron), who has a diva-like personality. Chris has made Zara’s life a living hell by constantly keeping her on her toes. He makes her run nonsensical errands with the promise that he will eventually let her handle his company. However, his anxious worries and demands have no end.

One day, when Zara has had enough, she quits her job and storms out of Chris’ home. Clueless about how things will move forward, she goes to her award-winning writer mom, Brooke (Nicole Kidman), for advice. Brooke has warned Zara about her choice to work with a narcissistic actor, but she, again, politely explains that Zara will have to figure out her career issues herself as nobody can really tell her what to do next.

The following day, while Zara is out on an errand, Chris drops by to apologize and offers Zara her job back. However, meeting Brooke surprises Chris, and the two sit and chat over shots of tequila, learning about one another. Shortly, the effects of tequila start to show, and while the two of them are having sex, Zara walks in on them. She freaks out and hits herself on the door hinge, leading everyone to visit an emergency room for a check-up. With the three in the same room, Zara expresses her outrage about the entire situation. She doesn’t approve of her mother hooking up with her boss and demands Brooke break up with him instantly.

On their way back home, Brooke leaves Zara and Chris to mind their own business. Chris apologizes for being a difficult boss and offers Zara the role of assistant producer for the upcoming movie. Zara accepts the offer, but in the meantime, Chris and Brooke discreetly decide to formally meet for a date. Brooke, who lost her husband a decade ago to an illness, feels strange but shares a comfortable connection with Chris. Although nervous to make the plunge, she warns Chris beforehand that he cannot break her heart if he decides to move forward with things. The two hang out at Chris’s favorite place, and one thing leads to another, and soon, they have sex again.

Why doesn’t Zara approve of Brooke and Chris’s romantic affair?

After returning home, Brooke finds Zara in the living room working late. Zara is surprised to see her mother wearing a ‘Vogue’ dress she never took out from her closet. Knowing her daughter may not take the affair well, Brooke decides to share that she met Chris only for dinner. Later that night, Brooke speaks to her mother-in-law, Leila (Kathy Bates), and shares the details of her affair. Leila is more than excited for her daughter-in-law and advises her to follow her heart and not beat herself up for taking a big plunge in life, considering she is also a woman besides being a mother to a grown-up daughter.

Zara is adamant that Brooke must not date Chris as she knows the kind of self-centered person he is. She feels her mother is too great for him, as he often tends to break women’s hearts in a particular fashion, and she doesn’t want that to happen to her mother.

When she finds out that Brooke and Chris went behind her back with their passionate affair and Chris offered the position of script rewriter to her mother—a role Zara has pitched for her friend—she is disheartened. She lashes out at her mother for choosing someone like Chris and putting him on the same pedestal as her father, which breaks Zara’s heart. In the heat of the moment, Brooke mentions that if Zara is having issues with her, she might consider moving out.

Zara immediately decides to move in with her friend, Genie (Liza Koshy), who has been with her through thick and thin. Brooke is heartbroken, too, and even though she tells Chris they should not date, he offers to come by for comfort. Eventually, Leila steps in and tells Brooke she must not make hasty decisions just because her daughter doesn’t approve of her choices and should instead invite Chris for Christmas dinner at her place. Meanwhile, Leila also speaks to Zara and asks her to be more understanding and handle things maturely, considering her mother really likes Chris. Zara doesn’t like that her grandmother sides with her mother’s actions, but she swallows her ego and lets the Christmas vibe do its magic.

Why is Brooke nervous about getting serious about Chris?

A still from A Family Affair (2024).
A still from A Family Affair (2024).

Later, at dinner, Zara, Brooke, Chris, and Leila hang out and share some perfect family Christmas time together. Zara is particularly impressed with Chris’s behavior as she watches him and her mother sharing cute moments together. After dinner, Leila shares that Chris is a good choice and Brooke must keep following her heart. However, for Brooke, it is a big step as she doesn’t want to get hurt again.

She shares with Leila that before her husband’s illness, the couple was having marital issues—so much so that her late husband wanted a divorce. Leila is sad to learn that Brooke, whom she considers like her own daughter, held this secret for so long. While Leila comforts Brooke, we see Zara listening to their conversation from a distance in the other room.

On Christmas Eve, Brooke is taken aback when she receives a book of her entire work as a gift from Chris. Zara is also happy with this gesture and finally lets go of the weird vibe she had been stuck with about the entire affair. However, things go south when she finds a pair of diamond earrings in Chris’s bag while putting stuff in the car before leaving.

This makes her angry because deep down, she knows that Chris would break her mother’s heart, as the diamond earrings are a sign that he wishes to part ways from a relationship. After coming back home, Zara confronts Chris in front of her mother, leaving Brooke completely devastated. Brooke asks Chris to leave without giving him any space to explain himself, but she gets more upset with her daughter for not handling the situation well and letting her anger ruin everything. As a mature person, Zara could have confronted Chris separately to get to the bottom of the issue, but she was obviously not thinking and only trying to prove her point.

Does Zara accept Chris’s apology?

Zara reaches Genie’s place and starts to ramble about her life’s never-ending drama, completely ignoring that Genie, too, has been dealing with a lot. Genie finally speaks up for the first time, making Zara realize how she has been all about herself and never really cared to know anything about her friend. Zara yet again makes it about herself during the confrontation, despite learning that her best friend has recently gone through a breakup and is not doing well. Eventually, Zara decides to move in with Chris’s house help, who is also very dear to her. After much contemplation, before the New Year, Zara apologizes to Genie. Brooke breaks up with Chris, leaving both of them heartbroken.

During the shooting of Chris’ movie, Zara, who is now working as an assistant producer, learns that he is having one of his ‘diva’ moments. So, she goes to talk to him, and Chris shares that he panicked about what to give Brooke for Christmas. When he decided to give her the book, he had completely forgotten about returning the diamond earrings.

He apologizes to Zara for the entire thing, explaining that he never meant to break her mother’s heart. He confesses that he has always backed off from relationships when they are too good for him and thinks he doesn’t deserve it. However, with Brooke, he feels different. For the first time in his life, he feels truly connected with someone who wants to know him as a person and not because he is a star. Zara understands Chris better than before, and the two reconcile their friendship.

A Family Affair (2024) Movie Ending Explained:

Do Brooke and Chris end up together?

Meanwhile, Brooke has decided to take up a summer teaching job at Princeton. When Zara meets her, she expresses her gratitude for how Brooke has always been by her side, taking care of her like there is nothing else in the world, especially after her father’s passing. This makes Brooke teary-eyed as she finally sees her daughter expressing her true feelings. However, when Zara asks about Chris, Brooke is adamant that the affair is over and in the past, and she has decided to move on in life as it makes no sense.

The ending of the Netflix movie A Family Affair (2024) shows Zara and Leila teaming up, plotting a chance encounter between Chris and Brooke at a supermarket. While Chris is afraid to walk into a public place due to his celebrity stature, Zara keeps him engaged, telling him that nobody really cares about him anyway. Meanwhile, Leila pushes Brooke to visit the store to buy some exotic fruit that helps with her dementia, which Brooke finds ridiculous. At the store, while Chris is checking out aisles, he notices Brooke, and the two realize this is all part of Zara and Leila’s master plan. Zara leaves the couple alone, telling them they must get back together as they are ‘cute and happy’ when together.

Brooke and Chris express their love for each other, and we see that Zara had organized the entire film-style meet-cute chance encounter at the supermarket, with the public crowd out of the way to let the couple enjoy their official romantic moment together. The end sequence of A Family Affair shows Zara working as a producer and handling Chris’s company, Brooke releasing her book after a long hiatus, and Brooke and Chris’s affair going strong. While Zara is least interested in knowing the details of Chris and her mother’s involvement, she shares a love-hate relationship with Chris as we see her sitting in the producer’s seat, producing a film she and her writer friend always wanted to work on.

Read More: A Family Affair (2024) Movie Review: Netflix’s new rom-com offers some genuine chuckles while telling a tale about our fear of commitment

A Family Affair (2024) Movie Trailer

A Family Affair (2024) Movie Links: IMDbRotten TomatoesWikipediaLetteboxd
A Family Affair (2024) Movie Cast: Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron, Joey King, Kathy Bates, Liza Koshy, Sherry Cola
A Family Affair (2024) Movie Genre: Romance/Comedy | Runtime: 1h 51m,
Where to watch A Family Affair

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