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About a Boy (2002)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Romance  -  17 May 2002 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 125,855 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 385 user | 160 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

Based on Nick Hornby's best-selling novel, About A Boy is the story of a cynical, immature young man who is taught how to act like a grown-up by a little boy

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(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
Madison Cook ...
Jordan Cook ...
Nicholas Hutchison ...
John
Ryan Speechley ...
Joseph Speechley ...
...
...
Ellie (as Nat Gastiain Tena)
Laura Kennington ...
Ellie's Friend
Tanika Swaby ...
Ellie's Friend
Peter McNicholl ...
Ellie's Friend
...
Ellie's Friend
Ben Ridgeway ...
Lee
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Storyline

Twelve year old Marcus Brewer lives with his chronically depressed single mother, Fiona Brewer. Both Fiona and Marcus beat to their own respective drummers. Marcus will do whatever he can to make his depressed mother happy, even if it causes himself grief. As such, he realizes that he is perceived as different than most kids, as even the self-professed weird kids don't want to hang out with him as he is the target of bullying. Part of the taunts against him are the fact that he sings and speaks to himself without even realizing that he is doing it. Meanwhile, thirty-eight year old Will Freeman is a slacker who has lived comfortably off the royalties of a song written by his deceased father, and as such has never had to work a day in his life. He is a solitary man who places himself as the first and only priority in life. He comes across the idea that dating single moms meets his selfish carnal needs. It is in this capacity that Will meets Marcus, as one of Will's single mother ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Growing up has nothing to do with age.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

Release Date:

17 May 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

About a Boy oder: Der Tag der toten Ente  »

Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,527,768 (France) (15 November 2002)

Gross:

$2,834,577 (France) (29 November 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Brad Pitt turned down the lead role of Will Freeman on the grounds that it was implausible that someone so attractive would need to pretend to be a single father to meet women. He nevertheless appears in the film (sort of) - he is on the cover of an issue of "Esquire" magazine that Will is reading in his flat. See more »

Goofs

Will doesn't fit in the coffee holder in the espresso machine correctly, but still manages to make a cup of coffee. See more »

Quotes

Ali: If your dad goes out with my mum, you're gonna be dead, really dead.
Marcus: I don't think it's really up to me, now is it?
Ali: Well it better be... or you're gonna die.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 75th Annual Academy Awards (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

SuperThug
By Pharrell Williams (as Williams), Chad Hugo (as Hugo), Noreaga (as Santiago), and Harry and Stein
Performed by Noreaga
Courtesy of Tommy Boy Music (UK) Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hugh Grant shines; great coming-of-age movie; bloody hilarious and touching at the same time
17 June 2005 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

In the wonderfully entertaining "About A Boy," Hugh Grant shucks everything that made him famous nearly a decade earlier in "Four Weddings and a Funeral" (the floppy hair, the stuttering, etc.) and ends up giving his best performance to date. He plays Will, a wealthy, happily unemployed, commitment-phobic cad (slightly less insidious than Daniel Cleaver of "Bridget Jones's Diary") whose newest ploy is to date single mothers because they are easier to dump. However, he meets Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), the son of a somewhat suicidal mother (Toni Colette), and realizes that he cannot continue living his life so shallowly.

This film was based on Nick Hornby's wonderful book of the same name and retains much of the wit and touching humor. The early scenes depicting Will's "full," but spiritually empty, life are particularly amusing, with Will dividing the day up into units of time and spending these units on "web-based research" (finding pics of supermodels with see-through tops), "exercise" (shooting pool), grooming, and the like. Grant makes his character irresponsible, but remains enormously likable throughout the film. This is important because we start to identify with him, and understand his fears of commitment and helplessness behind his outward superficiality. His mannerisms—Grant's specialty, I think—are v. entertaining to watch; the selfishness, hurt, anger, recognition and more pass across his face effortlessly. The other cast members– Nicholas Hoult, Toni Colette, and Rachel Weisz – are also v. good in their supporting roles and play off each other well.

The film doesn't follow the book too closely, however, but does one-up on the book by wisely emphasizing some parts that the book downplays. For example, Rachel (played by Rachel Weisz) only appears for a few pages in the book, but has much more presence in the movie. Through the Rachel character, we see how Will's relationship with her is different from his past shallow ones, and we realize that he is growing up. Also, the movie is filled with great one-liners and sharp, witty dialogue that never feels forced. The movie also employs voice-over function (Will's) very nicely; for example, in one serious scene, Will follows the ambulance to the hospital, looking rather serious, but in his voice-over he says. "It was all terrible, just terrible. But driving fast behind the ambulance was fantastic." The character would never say that out loud, but it provides comic relief and the assurance that he is, indeed, very shallow.

The strength of "About a Boy" is in the simplicity and power of its scenes. Not one scene is wasted; each one tells us a wealth about the characters and leads to Will's self-discovery. That, along with Hugh Grant's delightful performance, and backed by a great score from Badly Drawn Boy, make "About A Boy" one of the most delightful, entertaining, and touching movies I've seen. It's a great feel-good movie. Highly recommended, especially to Hugh Grant fans, or anyone who has ever empathized or sympathized with Will and his situation. One of my favorites. 10/10.


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