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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Both Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult amaze

Author: SnoopyStyle
29 December 2013

Will Freeman (Hugh Grant) thinks of himself as a self-sufficient island. He doesn't need any connections or dependents. He's never worked a real job in his life, living off the royalties of his father one big hit song. After a setup by his sister, he finds that single moms make for the best dating potential. Marcus Brewer (Nicholas Hoult) is a freakish outcast at his school, and his mother is suicidal. Will and Marcus are brought together by a lie and a single parent help group.

Based on a Nick Hornby novel, it is a comedy about a man growing up helping a boy and his fears. It is a witty film about family and friendship. Most of all, it's about love and the need for human connections. The characters are well drawn. Importantly, Hugh Grant is at the top of his game, and there is a great newcomer in Nicholas Hoult.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Hilarious But Memorable Romantic Comedy

Author: zardoz-13 from United States
15 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"About A Boy" is an amusing coming-of-age romantic comedy that shuns the standard sappy shenanigans. Hugh Grant plays his usual self-effacing character. As the protagonist, he has been cast as a non-entity who only becomes somebody after prolonged exposure to a well-meaning twelve-year old whose mom has tried to commit suicide. Weitz brothers Chris and Paul, who helmed both "American Pie" and "Down To Earth," directed this wholesome but hilarious epic about how British people who help people triumph over their problems. The premise that a youngster can draw an older, solitary loner out of his hermetically sealed bachelorhood provides a refreshing change of pace. Grant's character has been spared from the burden of toiling for a living because his late father penned one song, "Santa's Super Sleigh," that emerges as a chartbuster. Actually, Will Freeman (Hugh Grant)abhors the song, but lives off the royalties of his father one-hit wonder tune. Meantime, life for Fiona Brewer (Toni Collette of "Hitchcock") has not been rewarding. She earns her living as a music therapist who helps sick children. Lately, however, she has been plagued with worrisome thoughts that prompt her cry rivers of tears. She sends her son, Marcus (Nicholas Hoult of "Warm Bodies"), to school one morning and reminds him that she loves him. The entire playground ridicules this endearing exchange and Marcus hears everybody utter derisive variations of "I love you, Marcus." Marcus knows about the third degree because everybody at school gives him grief. He even gives himself grief when he witlessly warbles songs in class without realizing that he is singing.

Will is shocked and astonished that his closest friends ask him if he'd serve as their daughter's godfather. He refuses to capitalize on this this grand opportunity. "I couldn't possibly think of a worse godfather for Imogene. You know me. I'll drop her at her christening. I'll forget her birthdays until her 18th, when I'll take her out and get her drunk and possibly, let's face it, you know, try and shag her. I mean, seriously, it's a very, very bad choice." Husband and wife John (Nicholas Hutchison of "Miss Potter") and Christine (Sharon Small of "Driven") react with surprise at Will's less than subtle response. Nevertheless, they set him up on a date with a friend, Ellie (Natalia Tena of "Womb") who has a child. Usually, Will displays little tolerance for children as he emphasized when John and Christine sought to recruit him as a godparent. Suddenly, he performs an about-face attitude reversal and professes no qualms about dating a single mom. He hits it off well with Ellie. However, she decides she cannot continue their relationship and breaks up with him. The idea of dating single mothers obsesses Will. He attends a SPAT meeting; SPAT stands for Single Parents Alone Together. Predictably, Will is the only guy in the group and listens to their depressing stories of betrayal. When it comes time for him to contribute, Will makes up a story that his wife abandoned him and their two-year old son, Ned, and ran off with his best friend. Later, Will lands a date with Suzie (Victoria Smurfit of "Bulletproof Monk"), who also a SPAT member, and they along well enough. When they go out of a date, Suzie brings along Marcus because Fiona cannot accompany them. During the date, Marcus throws bits of his mom's bread at the ducks in the park pond. Frustrated with trying to pluck off pieces, Marcus hurls the entire loaf into the pond. Accidentally, he hits a duck with the bread and the blow kills it. Surprisingly, this scene turns out to be very humorous. Will convinces the park warden that Marcus hurled the loaf to see if he could sink the dead duck.

After the date, when Suzie and Will take Marcus home, they discover Fiona has attempted to kill herself with pills. Eventually, the lonely Marcus becomes friends with Will and Will comes to regard him as more than an obnoxious brat. Initially, Marcus wants to visit Will and watch television with him or he will inform everybody that Will doesn't have a toddler. Later, a recovered Fiona confronts Will in a posh restaurant and demands to know what he has been doing with Marcus. Will defends his actions and points out to Fiona that her son is being bullying in school. Fiona breaks down later and admits that she isn't a very competent parent. By all indications, it appears that Will and Fiona will become a couple. Happily, the Weitz brothers deviate from this thinking. Will winds up meeting another woman, Rachel (Rachel Weisz of "The Mummy"), and they become enamored of each other. Rachel also has a son who attends Marcus' school. He is one of the students who torments Marcus. Inevitably, Will's lies get into hot water with Rachel when she learns that Marcus isn't Will's son. Apparently, their romance is heading for disaster, but things work out before fade-out.

"About a Boy" is based on Nick Hornsby's novel. Grant imparts all his charisma and Collette plays the mousey mom who lives a depressing life. Scenarist Peter Hedges and the Weitzs have written some memorable dialogue and some of our heroe's observations under his breath about junctures in his life are clever. Mind you, this is a happily ever after opus, but Will and Fiona aren't the couple at fade-out. The finale in the school auditorium where Will accompanies Marcus on a guitar while sings a Roberta Flack tune is fun.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A wonderfully poignant film; it's one of those sleepers that end up delighting you

Author: callanvass from victoria b.c canada
24 August 2013

I finally gave in and decided to give this film a look. This movie had heaps of praise, and now I see why! It's perceptively funny and refreshingly sincere in its approach. Movies like this are why I still believe in the magic of movie making. About a Boy could have easily gone the pretentious route, but it strayed away from it completely. It takes a considerable amount of skill to make a pathetic womanizer like Will (Hugh Grant) as likable as he was, and also a lot of charisma on Hugh Grant's part. It shows you how stale life manages to get sometimes, and how nothing can seem to get you out of that funk, and all it takes is finding treasure in the strangest of places. Grant and Nicholas Hoult's chemistry is uncannily good. It was an absolute joy to watch them evolve together and balance each other out; I thank you gentlemen. Both are fantastic. He may be grown up now, but I dare you to find a child that can pull off a performance like Hoult did. You won't find many. Toni Collette is excellent as the suicidal mother with a heart of gold. Her actions are questionable, but her heart is there. She is very vital to this film's success. Any complaints? Not really. The finale got a wee bit silly for my liking, but it was so charming with the way it was done, I really didn't care. It had heart and that's all I cared about in the long run.

Final Thoughts: Seeing gems like this one makes me weep in ways when I see Adam Sandler making millions off of garbage like Jack & Jill or Grown Ups. Don't take so long to see this movie like I did. See it as soon as you possibly can. It'll warm even the coldest of hearts


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

About a Boy — What it means to be an island and what relationships are for

Author: Avid Climber from Montreal, Canada
29 January 2013

About a Boy is a charming movie about responsibilities or the lack thereof. It's a low key narrative where a boy has to deal with some realities of life he's not ready for, and where a man is confronted by reality and must connect with it.

Hugh Grant, as usual, has its way with words, but his volume is pretty moderate this time around. Opposite him is Nicholas Hoult as the boy. Their character are very disparate if not entirely opposite, and they play this duality pretty well, one strengthening and helping the other finding some basic truths of life.

All the acting is solid, to the point where you want to slap some sense into Toni Collette's depressive persona. The editing gives us a great pacing, and the story is engrossing and, even if it stays pretty simple, brings a couple of new things to the table, as well as some well worn out ideas. The "lie" makes an apparition, but is dealt with in an incredibly mature way. The environment is rich, the important characters deep, the soundtrack sensible, and you'll chuckle a good number of times.

I highly recommend, except if you're looking for action or if you want to avoid sentimentality.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Here is something nice

Author: lagudafuad from Nigeria
17 December 2012

Here is a movie whose screenplay is captivating, the screenplay is an adaptation from a book and it was well done by Peter Hedges and actor Hugh Grant never performed better in any lead role since, making his performance in this film his most critical acclaimed.

This 2002 British comedy drama film is directed by brothers Chris Weitz (The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)) and Paul Weitz (Little Fockers (2010)). About a boy is an adaptation of the 1998 novel of the same name by Nick Hornby. Nick who is author of other film adaptations like Fever Pitch in 2005 and High Fidelity in 2000, allowed Hedges and the brother to work on the screenplay by themselves since the only film adaptation he worked on the screenplay is the 1997 British adaptation of Fever Pitch, which starred Colin Firth.

About a boy is about Will Freeman (Hugh Grant) who lives a very carefree comfortable life in London, where Will doesn't work thanks to overly sufficient royalties left to him by his father from a successful Christmas song that his father composed. Due to this Will has enough time to meet women and has random sexual relationships with practically every woman he meets.

Will soon discovered that single mothers are the easiest to get in bed, so he tried to nab as much as he can, his quest led him to meet Suzie and his dying need to get her in bed led him to meet Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), who is a 12 year old son of Suzie's friend, Fiona (Toni Collette). A weird relationship developed between the two in a mentor and mentee kind of way, that made Will have more of a apart in Marcus life than he planned to.

About a boy was a commercial success, making over 130 million dollars in the box office which is almost 7 times its production cost. The movie itself was a critical acclaim, with the AFI (American Film Institute) naming it one of the best as one of the ten best movies of the year 2002 and it holds a 93% approval rating on the critic aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes.

About a boy also got an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Hugh Grant was also nominated for a Golden Globe award. Although Grant didn't win any notable awards he did win some not so notable ones including the Golden Camera (Goldene Kamera is an annual German film and television award, awarded by the television magazine HÖRZU.) award for Best International Actor.

About a boy is just sweet and lovable and it will make you smile and it is a nice DVD to own.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

i don't like these sort of films but...

Author: liamgillett94 from Liverpool
29 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This has to be the best drama film i have seen the film is about a singleton called will who lives freely without a responsibilities but meets a kid called marcus who he takes pity on. What i like about this film is that it is a realistic film especially for a 12 with the kids mums mental problems to will picking up any woman great film. I would have marked it 10 but people say this is meant to be a comedy but i never found any of the jokes funny except the duck scene i found it more of an emotional journey that you take with the characters. I don't like hugh grant films but this is a brilliant film and cheap as well if you want the DVD of it recommended not my humour but the story is brilliant, I also love the soundtrack to the film brilliant soundtrack the best British film i have seen with harry brown being a close second different type of film but both brilliant.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: lymeddows from Canada
10 April 2012

"About a Boy" is about two boys who both don't fit in with society. One is a twelve-year-old trying to fit in at a new school, and the other is a 38-year-old man-child who has never worked, never married and never had children, and never plans to.

Hugh Grant is funny and vulnerable as Will, a bachelor who decides to date single mothers. Through one of his attempts, he meets Marcus (played excellently by Nicholas Hoult), who struggles with bullies and has to take care of his suicidal mother.

I found the film to be very funny and poignant, keeping a good balance between comedy and drama. The acting is very underrated with flawless performances by Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult, and Toni Collette. The only thing that I would have changed would have been to reference Nirvana and their song, "About a Girl", which gave the movie its title. Overall I would recommend this to fans of Hugh Grant and coming-of-age tales.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Very, very good

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
12 May 2011

The book is an excellent read, while more extensive in its story elements and structure, it is funny, moving and compelling. The movie is also very, very good. I personally would have liked the first half of the movie especially to have slowed down a tad, some of it felt rushed and skimmed through. And while it is not as extensive or quite as developed as the book, it is every bit, if not more so, as funny, moving and as compelling. The whole movie is beautifully filmed, the soundtrack is beguiling, the excellent is suitably adroit and the script is funny, sharp and witty. And the more poignant scenes were genuinely so. The whole cast give sterling performances, Hugh Grant is on excellent form, and Nicholas Hoult is very believable as the troubled boy. Sharon Small, Toni Collette and Rachel Weisz also are solid. All in all, a very good film. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

It didn't kill me softly.

Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
14 May 2009

Will is self centred and has cast off all his responsibilities. But during one of his more dubious scams to date single mothers, he is forced to reconsider his moral fibre after coming into contact with a 12 year old outcast named Marcus.

Adapted from the massively popular book written by Nick Hornby {Fever Pitch & High Fidelity} About A Boy easily translates well to the screen without truly breaking free of the modest premise. Oddly enough for such a British picture, this is directed by an American, Paul Weitz, who along with his brother Chris, brought the world American Pie!. It works, largely to the undervalued comic talents of one Hugh Grant {Will}. I would go so far as to say that without Grant leading the film, this would have been a flop, all the highlights on offer are when Grant is on the screen. Expressive with his face and delivering his lines with a natural high, Grant nicely lures the audience into the less than admirable Will's hands. Which is quite a trick considering that Will is a morally dubious scum bag!.

Nicholas Hoult {Marcus} is OK as child actors go, but here he is given far to much to do. Which is another reason why Grant is so important to the film being a success, he shoulders much of the emotional burden, letting Hoult breathe what life he can into poor young Marcus {worst hair cut on film ever}. Solid support comes from Toni Collette and Rachael Weisz, and Weitz's direction is smooth and unobtrusive, with Badly Drawn Boy's score an integral part of the story. Yet as much as i enjoy the film myself, i still feel frustrated that it didn't turn out better than it did. A double handed narration from both lead characters intrudes on the flow of the plot, and the pay off is ultimately an "oh" moment. So to me it's an OK movie made into a good one courtesy of one of Britain's best light comedy actors. 7/10

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Great fun!

Author: Dingataca from London, England
15 April 2008

Will (Hugh Grant) is the envy of every man. He doesn't work, drives a fast car, enjoys casual relationships, and at 38 has rid his life of all responsibilities...until he meets Marcus. A unique 12 year old boy who turns his life upside down.

Hugh Grant as Will was expertly cast. He was hilarious, charming, and ridiculously attractive - perfect :) He played his part effortlessly and provided a lot of the humour throughout the movie, though this was subtly taken over by the many moving, sweet moments that he also contributed. This is arguably his best ever performance. Nicholas Hoult as Marcus, I hate to admit, was very very VERY good. I saw the TV show in which he stars, 'Skins', and thought he, and the show, were both awful. But I have to say he was great as Marcus. Rachel Weisz appears only halfway through the film and was decent enough I guess, she didn't have much to do (and seemed pretty bored doing it anyway). Toni Collette as Marcus's mum was fantastic. I actually thought she was a hippie with issues - that's how well cast she was!

On the whole, About A Boy is an unforgettable and heartwarming Britcom, that does complete justice to the novel.

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