Actors: Hugh Grant, Rachel Weisz, Toni Collette, Nicholas Hoult
|Review Summary and Plot Commentary about About a Boy|
| Will (Hugh Grant) plays a wealthy, unemployed, child-free, irresponsible, 36 year old playboy. Will in search of date joins a club of divorced, thirty-something women with children and he pretend to have a 2 year old son. That 2 year old son never exists Will just made him up to join the club and cook stories about himself and his 2 year old boy to get the sympathies of divorcee women in the club to date them. Will's pathetic attempt to get a date introduce him to Fiona (Collette). Will's problems increased when he lie to Fiona about having a child and he worry about how he's going to ditch Fiona when he gets bored.
Fiona brings Marcus (Hoult) along at a picnic; Marcus is rather a strange 12 years old boy with a manic depressive hippy mom (Fiona). After Fiona's attempt to kill herself, Marcus starts to visit Will every evening after school and as they became good friends they get to learn about each other, themselves and of course about life. Will and Marcus both help each other, Will teaches Marcus how to be a cool kid at school, where Marcus helps Will to finally grow up and take responsibilities of his actions even fall in love and possibly commit to a real adult relationship with a lovely single mother.
This is a feel-good and irresistible movie, which touch a serious topic about how life works, without being overly sentimental. Will's finds himself in comic moments throughout the movie. This movie “About a Boy” is also known as “Father Figure” and “Odd Numbers”. This movie is rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some thematic elements.
--Faiza Iqtidar, Resident Scholar
|Will Lightman (Grant) is a smooth talking bachelor whose main goal in life is to enjoy it to its fullest and avoid any kind of responsibility. After many failed attempts at relationships, Will decides to invent an imaginary son in order to meet single moms. Twelve year old Marcus is the son of a single mother and he quickly befriends Will. He wants desperately to fit in at school and doesn't know how. As Will helps teach Marcus how to be cool, Marcus teaches Will that there's nothing wrong with acting like a grown up.
--Patti Illsley, Resident Scholar
|Just when you thought Hugh Grant had played the perfect character for him (the charming and irresistable rogue of "Four Weddings and a Funeral," then "Bridget Jones's Diary"), along comes another marvelous performance. As Will, the indolent, independently wealthy, gentle cad of Nick Hornby's bestselling novel, Grant is perfect. Will stumbles on single mothers as the best choice for easy liaisons: appreciative yet commitment free. But then he meets 12-year-old Marcus, a sweet kid belabored by ridicule and bullies at school and a fragile, suicidal mother at home ... and Will is hooked. There are no big surprises, no killing laughs, but this movie is a terrific charmer. Hoult plays a wonderfully vulnerable yet un-saccharine kid, and the crisp writing and fine supporting cast make for a winning show.
--David Loftus, Resident Scholar
|In this bittersweet comedy based on Nick Hornby's novel, Hugh Grant gives a fine performance as a professional loafer, a London man who is independently wealthy, who lives for himself alone, and also all alone. He knows how to buy casual clothes, have casual relationships, not get involved. His life is dedicated to the truth that, 'Each man IS an island - and I am Ibiza'. He is shallow and happy that way, and he is grateful for such small mercies. Then he discovers single mums. They are so available - but breaking up strangely easier to do: they have the baggage, they keep the baggage, he feels no guilt. But to meet them he has to invent his own child. He attends the grittly named 'Single Parents Alone Together' (SPAT) club. Then the trouble starts - he meets lots of real people with real children. One or two of them seem to need him, and he has precious little defence against keeping them out. Inevitably, he starts to need them. The single parents are entirely contemporary, but the film is very traditional at heart. Some of the best lines are delivered by the boy who befriends our loafer: 'Two is not enough, you need backup', (done in voiceover). Cliché could abound in a film like this, but it is all the better for managing to make you expect it and then not deliver it, and you don't even feel set up. 'About A Boy' should be a very big hit, but I fear it won't be, there may be too much reality in it.
--Michael JR Jose, Resident Scholar
|This movie is about Hugh Grant who plays a man looking for sex and no commitment. Being a wealthy man who spends most of his time being the latest technology he goes looking for this ideal type of women. He finds that single parents are what he's looking for- a quick fling.
His biggest problem is that he doesn't know any single parent women or the places they hang-out. That is until he notices a poster for a single parent group. He joins the group pretending to have been married and left with his small son Ned.
Meanwhile we see a young teenager, Marcus who is getting bullied and his Mum is depressed. Grant and Marcus' paths cross when Grant pursues Marcus' Mum's best friend. After spending the day at the park they drop Marcus at home to find his Mum has overdosed on pills. She recovers but Marcus is emotionally scarred.
He decides two people in a family are not enough, you need a back-up. He chooses Grant as his back-up, he rings him to invite himself and his Mum to dinner or he'll tell everyone that he doesn't really have a son.
Grant then ends up having an uninvited Marcus round his house everyday after school. They bond through a mutual enjoyment of watching TV and eating junk food.
Grant then realises once he meets the right woman (Rachel Weiz) that he is nothing and is meaningless. Why would she be interested. Then Marcus provides their common ground.
A great feel good movie. Hugh is at his best with great comedy timing and wise cracks. A must see film for 2002!
--H Louise, Resident Scholar
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|Analysis of About a Boy|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Time/era of movie:
- present (2000-2010)
Special relationship with
Kind of comedy
- romantic comedy
- simply wealthy
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
- brunette (Brown)
- (man) short/standard straight
- (man) average
How sensitive is this character?
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
- hard edged
Sense of humor?
- Cynical sense of humor
- Average intelligence
- average physique
Secondary Main Character
- brunette (Brown)
- (man) short/standard straight
How much in movie?
- general circumstances
Accounts of torture and death?
- no torture/death
Movie makes you feel...
Sex/nudity in movie?
What kind of sex:
- vague references only
- Occasional swearing
Is this movie based on a
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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).