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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another film adaptation of a book, and another Grant vehicle
Grant plays, Will, a rich, lazy and irresponsible 38 year old, with little better to occupy his time than a daily dose of Countdown and chasing women. He strikes upon the idea of meeting single-mums, his rational being that they are easy prey and as a result of one of his liaisons, his life becomes complicated by the introduction of Marcus. Marcus, (Nicholas Hoult) is a...
Published on 6 Jan 2003 by Film Fan

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hugh Grant Steals The Show
Whilst Hornby's book serves as a darkly ironic critique of the empty voyeurism of popular culture, the film adaptation mainly focuses of the performance of Hugh Grant, whose arrogant, egotistical, chauvinistic portrayal of Will is perfection. Whilst the film fails to encapsulate many of the books themes and Horby's delightful look at 1990s pop culture, Hugh Grant manages...
Published on 6 May 2009 by Mathew Reily


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another film adaptation of a book, and another Grant vehicle, 6 Jan 2003
By 
Film Fan (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: About a Boy [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Grant plays, Will, a rich, lazy and irresponsible 38 year old, with little better to occupy his time than a daily dose of Countdown and chasing women. He strikes upon the idea of meeting single-mums, his rational being that they are easy prey and as a result of one of his liaisons, his life becomes complicated by the introduction of Marcus. Marcus, (Nicholas Hoult) is a twelve year old with a lot of problems on his hands, he is bullied and laughed at school, his hippy-ish, vegan mother has tried to kill herself and permanently looks like she is on the verge of doing it again, but his outlook is surprisingly mature. He strikes up a sort of friendship with Will and what entails is a charming tale of how man educates boy, and in turn boy unwittingly educates man.
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.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny and very tearful in all the right places, 7 Dec 2003
This review is from: About a Boy [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Having heard about how good this film was supposed to be, i decided to give it a shot. And i will say that i was not disappointed in the least. Although i have never been a fan of these type of films that make your eyes fill up, i found it really entertaining and several viewings later, i still had not got board, which is very rare for a film.
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, great book, 12 Dec 2003
This review is from: About a Boy [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This film is brilliant and a really good adaptation of the book. I read the book first and loved it and decided to see the film. Only the ending had changed dramtically, and it was a good idea as the book ends wonderfully but would not transfer well onto the big screen.
I loved the way that one minute you were laughing out loud and the next you felt like crying for Marcus and Hugh Grant's character Will.
Its a great film that all Hugh Grant fans will love but even if you hate his work you will like this, its a completely different character to the simpering bloke you see in some of his other films. Also good in this were Toni Collette of Sixth Sense fame, and Rachel Weiz a.k.a Evelyn from The Mummy.
A big promise for the future is shown in Nicholas Hault playing Marcus of which half of the movie rests on his young shoulders. He pulls it off amazingly well and the solo at the end is just so good in its cringworthiness!!!
See the film and read the book, in either order because they both brilliant!!!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great story/moral: Twice viewed, will watch it again!, 21 Nov 2002
By 
A. J. Kirke "alexis kirke" (Plymouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: About a Boy [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Are you a man or a woman? How old are you? Both of these may effect how this film impacts you. I'm a 32 year old unmarried man, and so caught the brunt of this film's message (I assume the protagonist is not far from his mid-30s, and he's _very_ male and _very_ unmarried). But I know at least one woman who really enjoyed this film as well, so you don't have to be in my demographic to get a kick from it.
Overall, an excellent movie. Let's start simple: the soundtrack. It was so good I almost bought it! However I'm not really a "soundtrack buyer" type person, so I didn't in the end. But it's got a great bunch of songs in the movie anyway, and they seemed to fit in perfectly with the story.
Next: the genre. What type of movie is this? Well it's not what I'd call a romantic comedy. It is more comedy than romantic - in fact it is very very funny. Although there is a romance in this movie, it is more a romance of the "self" - the main character coming to love and hate parts of himself he wasn't even conscious of. The main relationship in the movie is between the man, and the boy who comes into his life. And, by the way, the portrayal of the boy by Nicholas Hoult is absolutely brilliant and scarily convincing. And Hugh Grant is perfect, with his part being closer to his Bridget Jones days than his 4 Weddings days. Toni Collette, as the boy's mother, is just fabulous. Apart from the relationship between the boy and the man, the relationship between the boy and his mother is the other important one in the movie: and it is heart-rending, heart-warming, frustrating, and quite realistic.
When I say “heart-rending”, in relation to this movie, I mean it. Either I am emotionally unstable (probably) or this movie is very touching (definitely). I had to hold back my tears a number of times and at the end just had to give in to the old water works. Hugh Grant's character is torn apart and rebuilt in the crucible of a forced growing up, brought on by the boy coming into his life. "About a Boy" talks to men like myself in an almost subconscious way - I found myself moved by things and not knowing why. But I just knew it was important. And the resolution and finale on stage was just brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Bravo Hugh!
I've watched this movie twice and will probably do so again. I feel it has a real message for myself and says something significant. And it's great fun to watch!
A quick footnote: I'm actually a fan of Nick Hornby (he wrote the book the movie was based on). If you are a Nick Hornby fan I strongly recommend you see this movie. Forget the half-hearted attempts made to bring "High Fidelity" on to the screen. This one is the real thing! It really brings the book to life - it is definitely a "Nick Hornby Film", if you know what I mean.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It didn't kill me softly., 27 Sep 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: About a Boy [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars About a Boy, 12 Jun 2005
By 
Rich Milligan (Thatcham, Berkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: About a Boy [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
The phrase "well it was good, but not as good as the book" is a phrase very often used when reviewing an adaptation of a successful novel and in many ways this is very true of "About a Boy".
Now before anyone thinks I'm having a pop at the film I'm not, the film is still excellent. A wonderful piece of relationship storytelling that is both touching and intelligent and also contains some extremely amusing asides on top.
Hugh Grant is on top form in this and proves that he can play something other than the dizzy floppy haired English Gent. In this he goes through a whole range of emotions and yet pulls it off with a considerable amount of subtly and panache that he remains utterly convincing throughout. Nicholas Hoult is similarly perfectly cast as the solemn misfit 12 year old and works a hundred times better than a "cuter" child star would have done.
However as good as the film is, I would recommend all who enjoyed the film (and those that didn't in fact) to read the original book by Nick Hornby, which includes larger roles for several of the characters, especially the Ellie character, and lots more relationship interplay and the film.
The one criticism of the film is the "happy every after ending" which is just a little bit too happy for anything other than Hollywood but on the whole a well recommended watch.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About A Boy, 3 Sep 2003
By A Customer
In this box set you get the book by Nick hornby, the film starring Hugh Grant and the soundtrack by Badly Drawn Boy.
The book, is a brilliant read, tackles subjects like suicude, divorce and the meaning of life and manages to do so in a humerous way without being tactless, that I think is quite an acomplishment in itself.
The film, whilst not covering the same ground of philisophical thouughts which are explored in the book, also misses out a few of the storylines in the book, for example Marcus' relationship with Ellie is far more complex in the book, and it's hardly mentioned here. The 'Kidz Rock' concert, it also not actually in the book. Despite the straying from the book content, the film is brilliant. Hugh Grant is comfortable in the role of Will, and pulls of one of his best performances yet, manage to show Will as the cocky, arrogant, person he is, but still make you feel for him when he entire philosophy of life is chaged by the appearance of Marcus in his life.
The soundtrack, by Badly Drawn Boy is brilliant, with a complete mixture of songs there really is something for every mood.
This box set has kept me amused for hours, ad I can read/watch/listen to it as many times as I want, and it ha syet failed to get old.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely film, 18 Feb 2013
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This review is from: About a Boy [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Great heart warming tale .Hugh Grant plays a different role in this film its nice to see how he interacts with Nicholas Hoult's character .Who also plays his part as Marcus well.Love the soundtrack too badly drawn boy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars about a boy, 9 Mar 2010
This review is from: About a Boy [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
great film about everyday real life challenges for the odd one out in every school playground
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The man who teaches the boy to be a boy while the boy teaches the man to be a man., 7 Aug 2009
By 
Dismal Angel "Ash" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: About a Boy [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Meet Will, a 38 year old bachelor; living off royalties from his deceased fathers' musical career, Will doesn't work, and finds his days filled with little moments in time dedicated to keeping himself entertained whilst avoiding a general lack of seriousness in all aspects of his life. Will very much enjoys the single life while testing satisfyingly brief relationships with women so long as they don't lead anywhere serious.

Whilst dating a single mother and being eventually (and happily) dumped, Will comes to the conclusion that somewhat emotionally neglected single mothers are the best demographic to date as most single mothers will generally go back to the father of their children; this gives Will the upper hand as he can be the good guy while still getting the perks of a relationship and never having to take anything to the next level.

Will is so determined to make his new plan of single mother dating work, that he invents a child of his own, and begins attending a support group called "Single Parents Alone Together" - where he meets a bright and pretty Irish lass called Susie who is his next target for dating.

Although Will thought he'd planned ahead for everything, he hadn't planned ahead for Susie's bringing along a friend's son on their first 'date', a young and troubled boy called Marcus, the son of a bi-polar music therapist.

Will's life is thrown into chaos almost from the moment of meeting the young boy who is as unconventional and awkward as they come, with the pain of being somewhat weird, friendless and lonely; not to mention the added trait of not really knowing how to be a teenager.

After his mother Fiona's attempted suicide attempt, Marcus is haunted and scared, and reaches out to Will bravely yet somewhat desperately in a strange attempt to find an escape from sitting at home in the afternoons with his mentally ill and hippie mother.

While Will is reluctant to take any interest in anyone's life but his own, he eventually discovers that Marcus is in dire need of a cool hip rolemodel to help him adjust to school and avoid bullying. At the same time, Will learns that Marcus is becoming the new voice of reason in his head, and may be a useful tool in helping him win the affections of a single mother he falls head over heels for.

A great movie for all, witty and quick without being too much work to get your head around although differs slightly from the Nick Hornby book it was based on. Hugh Grant stands out in this role as the somewhat rich but useless Jack the Lad as opposed to his usual stuttering well-read intellectual roles (if only he'd been able to shift the posh accent). Toni Collette is as astounding in her role as Marcus' depressed but unique mother as she is in every other role she portrays.
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About a Boy [DVD] [2002]
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