7.1/10
157,468
408 user 162 critic

About a Boy (2002)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 17 May 2002 (USA)
A cynical, immature young man is taught how to act like a grown-up by a little boy.

Directors:

Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz

Writers:

Nick Hornby (novel), Peter Hedges (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
750 ( 322)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Over the course of five social occasions, a committed bachelor must consider the notion that he may have discovered love.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, James Fleet
Notting Hill (1999)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The life of a simple bookshop owner changes when he meets the most famous film star in the world.

Director: Roger Michell
Stars: Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts, Richard McCabe
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A British woman is determined to improve herself while she looks for love in a year in which she keeps a personal diary.

Director: Sharon Maguire
Stars: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

After finding love, Bridget Jones questions if she really has everything she's dreamed of having.

Director: Beeban Kidron
Stars: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant
Love Actually (2003)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.

Director: Richard Curtis
Stars: Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Liam Neeson
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A washed up singer is given a couple days to compose a chart-topping hit for an aspiring teen sensation. Though he's never written a decent lyric in his life, he sparks with an offbeat younger woman with a flair for words.

Director: Marc Lawrence
Stars: Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore, Scott Porter
Pretty Woman (1990)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A man in a legal but hurtful business needs an escort for some social events, and hires a beautiful prostitute he meets... only to fall in love.

Director: Garry Marshall
Stars: Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, Jason Alexander
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A lawyer decides that she's used too much like a nanny by her boss, so she walks out on him.

Director: Marc Lawrence
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant, Alicia Witt
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hugh Grant ... Will Freeman
Nicholas Hoult ... Marcus Brewer
Sharon Small ... Christine
Madison Cook Madison Cook ... Imogen
Jordan Cook Jordan Cook ... Imogen
Nicholas Hutchison Nicholas Hutchison ... John
Ryan Speechley Ryan Speechley ... Barney
Joseph Speechley Joseph Speechley ... Barney
Toni Collette ... Fiona Brewer
Natalia Tena ... Ellie (as Nat Gastiain Tena)
Laura Kennington Laura Kennington ... Ellie's Friend
Tanika Swaby Tanika Swaby ... Ellie's Friend
Peter McNicholl Peter McNicholl ... Ellie's Friend
Chris Webster ... Ellie's Friend (as Christopher Webster)
Ben Ridgeway Ben Ridgeway ... Lee
Edit

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA | France | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 May 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

About a Boy oder: Der Tag der toten Ente See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£3,747,966 (United Kingdom), 28 April 2002, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,557,630, 19 May 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$41,385,278

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$130,549,455
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The quote "No man is an island" which Will jokingly attributes to Jon Bon Jovi, was actually written by John Donne in 1624, in his work "Meditation XVII". See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, before Will sits on the couch with Marcus, he picks up a nearly full bottle of beer. When he sits on the couch, the beer bottle is almost empty. See more »

Quotes

Will: [thinking] Every man is an island. I stand by that. But clearly some men are island CHAINS. Underneath, they are connected...
Marcus: [thinking] I used to think two was not enough. But now things are great; there are loads of people... I don't know what Will was so pissed about. I don't think couples are the future. The way I see it now, we both got back-up now. It's like that thing Jon Bon Jovi said: 'No man is an island.'
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK airings on ITV2 cut out all the profanity and swearing to make a clean film language-wise. When the film appeared on Film4 in pre-watershed airings a large chunk of the profanity was retained save for the stronger words and certain phrases. See more »

Connections

Features Countdown: Episode #44.69 (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Sussex Carol
Arranged by David Willcocks (as Sir David Willcocks)
Performed by The Cambridge Singers
Courtesy of Collegium Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

a sterling comic gem
8 June 2002 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

I think I smiled all the way through `About a Boy,' a comic near-masterpiece derived from the best-selling novel by Nick Hornby. For the sake of accuracy, both the novel and the film should more rightly be titled `About TWO Boys,' since the story focuses not only on 12-year old Marcus, but on 38-year old Will, a man totally dedicated to the proposition that any man who so desires can live quite happily on his own private little urban island, thank you very much. Will's `island' is his own London flat, which he has equipped with all the accoutrements of comfort and diversion that modern technology – in the form of computers, big screen TV's and DVD players - can afford. Who needs people when you have so much `stuff' to keep you content and occupied? Will thrives in his environment, much to the chagrin of his married couple friends who keep insisting that he must certainly be miserable without a wife and family to give his life meaning. But Will loves being shallow – a fact of his personality he is more than willing to declare right up front – and the last thing he needs – or thinks he needs – is people to clutter it up. Yet, island dwellers have a tendency not to remain marooned for long, and, before he knows it, Will finds himself striking up a relationship with a lonely, backward boy named Marcus, whose mother suffers from serious bouts of suicidal depression.

More than any comedy in recent memory, `About a Boy' establishes a tone and sticks with it to the end. The screenplay by Peter Hedges, Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz (the latter two function as the film's directors as well) manages to take a potentially clichéd and predictable story and invest it with a warmth, wit and tenderness that are all-enveloping. The voice-over narration by both Will and Marcus, which introduces us to their characters and keeps us informed as to their mental progress throughout the film, is remarkably clever and droll. Yet, the characters never come across as smug, smart-alecky or flippant. Rather, they speak and behave in ways that are both believable and realistic. Hugh Grant gives his richest performance to date as Will, the man who refuses to grow up and assume the role of responsible adult, blithely unaware of the emotional depths that lie hidden under a surface of apathy and indifference. The superb Grant is more than matched by relative newcomer Nicholas Hoult, an extraordinarily gifted young actor who doesn't look like the average `adorable' screen kid, and who makes Marcus into a very real, very likable and very sensitive young man. The remainder of the large cast is outstanding as well. Moreover, the film is very astute in its observation about just how easy technology has made it for us to isolate ourselves from one another. Admittedly, a little of the sharpness does go out of the screenplay in its closing stretches, but not enough to diminish one's pleasure appreciably.

In many ways, `About a Boy' is a movie that needs to be experienced first hand, since mere words fail to convey the very special charm and spell it manages to cast over the viewer. Rush to see it. Comic gems like this one don't come around very often!


105 of 116 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 408 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed