The film's wit and amusement comes down to deft and understated directing from Chris and Paul Weitz, and a snappily crafted screenplay from Peter Hedges and the Weitz brothers. Grant clips his hair as well as his vowels for a believable and ultimately sympathetic Will--by far his best performance since Four Weddings and a Funeral. As Marcus, Hoult is convincingly self-dependent, but could have been even more self-absorbed. Toni Colette is a dead-ringer for the well-meaning but ineffectual hippie mother Fiona, while Rachel Weisz gives her best screen performance to date as the attractive and vulnerable Rachel, with whom Will comes of age emotionally. Badly Drawn Boy's soundtrack will delight those who enjoy his brand of reconstituted 1970s Dylan; the title track has a wistful charm and there's a gem of an instrumental in the "Countdown" sequence. About a Boy is in the best traditions of British comedy: enlightening as it amuses, it's a film to enjoy and come back to. --Richard Whitehouse
Much had been made of Hugh Grant's new haircut for the film, gone the floppy fringe and in it's place a new spikier messed up look. Well he may have a new haircut, but he is as likeable as ever, playing something slightly sharper and more complex than the amiable buffoon and delivering an excellent performance. Hoult as Marcus makes an adequate if slightly unspectacular debut, but there is good support from the ever dependable Toni Collette, Victoria Smurfitt and Rachel Weisz. The Badly Drawn Boy soundtrack is excellent even if towards the end the songs begin to sound a little over-familiar.
Overall, I think Hornby can be pleased that his book has been reasonably faithfully interpreted. A few minor changes have occurred (from what I can remember of the book) but as a film by itself, this is a frequently amusing, interesting, bitter sweet drama that is perfect for a night in with the girlfriend.
A fantastic cast and a great soundtrack of Badly Drawn Boy.
A definate film to buy and to watch again and again..
It is about a shallow, lazy man called Will Freeman who basically does nothing apart from live a life of leisure, using his fathers fortune. However, things start to change when he meets Marcus, a 12 year old boy having problems at school and at home, and pretty soon he is drawn into an unknown world of love and emotion. Afterall, 'no man is an island'.
Hugh Grant is on top form and plays the part of Will, brilliantly. In fact, i don't think they could not have picked a better actor for the role. The rest of the cast are amazing as well, especially the boy who plays Marcus (sorry, i don't know his name). There is also a fantastic soundtrack written especially for the film, by the critically acclaimed 'Badly Drawn Boy'.
This film is one of a kind in that it is extreamly funny in some places, and at the same time extreamly sad in some places. Both these things have been put into the film in exactly the right doeses, ie there is just the right amount of each.
Well, what more can i say, other than to reinforce what i have already said about how great a film this is, and how you should buy it, even if you are not into this type of film, because i guarentee you will love it.
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