About a BoyMay 17, 2002
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
Release Year: 2002
Rating: 7.2/10 (71,958 voted)
Critic's Score: 75/100
Stars: Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult, Toni Collette
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…
Writers: Nick Hornby, Peter Hedges
(as Nat Gastiain Tena)
Growing up has nothing to do with age.
Universal Pictures [United States] |
Release Date: 17 May 2002
Filming Locations: BFI IMAX Cinema, Charlie Chaplin Walk, South Bank, Lambeth, London, England, UK
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: £3,747,966
(28 April 2002)
(17 November 2002)
Did You Know?
Jon Bon Jovi, who both Marcus and Will attribute the phrase "no man is an island" used the quote in the opening lyrics for the song "Santa Fe" from his soundtrack for the movie
Young Guns II.
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.
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.
We know, I just thought you had hidden depths.
No. No. You've always had that wrong. I really am this shallow.
a sterling comic gem
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!