About a Boy (2002)

This is a comedy that combines the funny side and the sad side of life through two young men. With 2002’s “About a Boy”, based off the book by Nick Hornby, directed by Paul & Chris Weitz, and starring Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult as the two main leads, is a charming film that takes a look at life from two very different perspectives. A 30-year-old man and a 12-year-old boy who share each other’s thoughts on what it means to be alone in the world. “About a Boy” is a nice comedic look at life, while not totally satirizing it, and offers some great performances from the two main leads.

The plot centers on Will Lightman (Grant), a single man who does nothing to better profit himself. He tries to find the perfect woman of his life, but he always screws it up in the end. Enter Marcus (Hoult) and his mother (Toni Collette), who Will sees as some annoying people. But to Marcus, Will is the perfect role model to talk to. Together, both Will and Marcus discuss what it means to be alone and how friendship doesn’t matter how old you are.

“About a Boy” is a nice comedy that really shines through. The cast is great and I especially loved the performances by Grant and Hoult. They really captured the certain characters that they portrayed on screen. But what I really like about the acting is the relationship between Will and Marcus. Throughout the movie, Will acts like a little kid and Marcus acts like an adult. Something you don’t see very often.

The direction from Chris % Paul Weitz is good as show that they have tackled comedy before. Mainly with 1999’s “American Pie”. The editing is great, especially at the beginning of the film. The cinematography is good as well, as it details the different contrasts of where our main characters live. The music by Badly Drawn Boy is a nice change of pace from a fully orchestrated soundtrack, even though at times it does seem out of place. But where the film really shines is with the writing.

The screenplay by Peter Hedges and Chris & Paul Weitz adapt Nick Hornby’s book and turn it into something that everyone can relate to. There are some very clever and funny moments. Most of which includes Marcus. But what makes the writing stand out is the fact that the film limits itself in-between drama and comedy giving a nice balance. We have comedy, but at the same time we tension, and that works perfectly.

If I were to criticize any negative comments about the movie, then it would have to be that the pacing is a bit slow at times, and that the ending is somewhat predictable.

On the whole, “About a Boy” is an admirable film with perfect leads and a well-structured story. It shows different aspects of life in both a funny and dramatic way that can be easily understandable for anyone to follow. I recommend this movie for those who want to look ahead at the future and reflect their past lives to the present.

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