Is Nicole’s Kidman Brooke Harwood Inspired by a Real Writer?

In Netflix’s romantic comedy film ‘A Family Affair,’ Nicole Kidman’s Brooke Harwood is a writer who is dealing with writer’s block. After the death of her husband, Brooke feels stagnant about her existence. Even though nothing really happens in her life, she always tries to make the lives of her daughter, Zara, and mother-in-law, Leila Ford, better. When she meets Hollywood sensation Chris Cole out of the blue, the stagnancy in her life disappears, making her emotionally ambitious once again. Brooke is not based on a real-life personality but a significant creation of Carrie Solomon, the screenwriter of the movie!

The Creation of Brooke Harwood, the Writer

Carrie Solomon conceived ‘A Family Affair’ as a film that explores the life of a woman in her 20s who is not obsessed with her romantic or sex life. The screenwriter found such a portrayal very rare in the medium. “I really wanted to tell the story of a girl stuck in the middle of a horrendous personal situation that had nothing to do with her own sex life, which I think is something we don’t often see from women in their 20s on-screen,” Solomon told Netflix’s Tudum. Since Zara’s “horrendous personal situation” cannot be something about her own decision or predicament, Solomon relied on the protagonist’s mother to carry the burden of the predicament.

Brooke was created as a carrier of the narrative’s central predicament. As far as Zara is concerned, the stakes are the highest when her issue involves the person who gave her birth. Solomon must have wanted to make Brooke a writer since the characteristics of the profession/role can be paralleled with the character’s life. Ever since her husband’s death, she has been dealing with a humongous writer’s block that stops her from moving on from the former. The writer’s block makes her think that she was at the best place in her life when she was with her late husband. Such thoughts stop her from being emotionally and sexually active.

Brooke’s “block” changes when she meets Chris Cole. It doesn’t take them long to connect and pursue the sparks they have been encountering ever since being in each other’s presence.

The Themes of Second Chances and Understanding

Brooke is an integral part of the multiple themes Carrie Solomon explores in the narrative. When the screenwriter was at the age of Zara, she used to “make it a lot about myself” like many millennials who were “whiny and complain-y and not really putting their heads down and working.” Through Zara, Brooke wanted to show how difficult it is to mature and do the right thing. Her growth to becoming an understanding and compassionate being needs a catalyst as far as her arc is concerned. That’s how Brooke emerges as a pivotal part of Zara and the film’s primary storyline.

When Zara sees her mother on the opposite end, she doesn’t have the choice to completely disappear from the former, as she does in Eugenie’s case. When understanding her mother, who is a constant presence in her life, becomes an inevitability, Zara not only becomes supportive but also utilizes the second chance to become a better daughter. Brooke also embraces the second chances she receives. When she gets an opportunity to open a new chapter of her life without constantly mourning her late husband, she grabs it and ends up together with Chris despite the opposition of her daughter.

Brooke and Chris’ relationship is a union of second chances. After rejecting committed relationships for a long time, using jewelry, the actor finally understands the value of his companionship with the writer and fights for it.

Read More: A Family Affair: Is Icarus Rush Based on an Actual Action Franchise?