About a Boy

About a Boy was released in 2002 as directed by Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz, the American Pie producers. However, the sex humor takes a back seat to a more sensitive exploration of a “coming of age” story for an adult man.

Hugh Grant stars alongside Nicholas Hoult, Toni Collette, and Rachel Weisz. The story is based off of a novel by Nick Hornby following the tale of a spoiled, cynical man named Will who pretends to have a son to sleep with women. However, when he meets and incorporates a real boy into his schemes and meets a woman he truly likes, Will learns it may be time for him to grow up.

The main draw for this film is the Will character, complex and fun in his sarcastic, shallow ways, which ultimately follow an arc into him being a more emotionally open and secure individual. If one is not a fan of Hugh Grant then this is the role to catch him in as he plays Will perfectly and void of too much obnoxiousness. His straight forward solutions to problems is identifiable with how a lot of people wish things could actually be; simpler. Yet, simple it never is.

The romance of the story is a basic formula, with man liking woman and woman liking man, but man having lied about something or mislead her, wishes he could tell her the truth, possibly plans to, but she finds out on her own sort of thing. Which is an age-old set-up, but usable and some films will be produced that botch it and some will come out that do it justice. This one is fun enough to be allowed usage of the set-up. I’m not going to say repeated viewings of About A Boy are worth the time, however.

This comedy is a wonderful blend of light hearted humor with serious drama involving the relationships between the characters and notably the young boy Marcus’ relationship with his suicidal mother. It explores the issues of loneliness and self-independence as well as the bonds that make friends and family work. Heart-warming is a description that could be plastered all over this. However, once again like with non Hugh Grant fans, this is a heart-warming tale to catch. Originality is not relied upon, nor is trying to make the humor too outlandish, but About a Boy stands out beyond alphabetically for the ground it covers.

2 thoughts on “About a Boy”

  1. One of the only movies to make cry in a while, I would compare it to a Little Miss Sunshine almost, and ironically Toni Collette is in both.

  2. I saw this film because I think Toni Collette is a brilliant actress. However, I don’t remember anything about it except that I was tired of looking at Hugh Grant’s face and the kid sounded like a woman.

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