About a Boy - Box Set : DVD, CD & Book 
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Hugh Grant takes the lead role as aimless, commitment-shy, thirtysomething Will in this adaptation of Nick Hornby's bestseller. Living on the royalties of a hit song his father wrote 40 years ago, Will drifts through life, moving from one relationship to the next with little lasting effect. But when he hits upon the new idea of dating single-mothers, he soon finds himself entangled with the suicidal Fiona (Toni Colette) and her 12-year-old-son Marcus (Nicholas Hoult). As he and Marcus gradually develop a friendship, Will begins to reassess the selfish life he has been living.
The film version of Nick Hornby's novel About a Boy takes a deeper though no less entertaining approach than the easy laughs of Fever Pitch and High Fidelity. The "coming together" of idle playboy Will (Hugh Grant) and put-upon loner Marcus (Nicholas Hoult) is a revealing tale of self-understanding and role reversal. Will finds that being yourself is of little consequence without a defining human context, while Marcus finds that pleasing others counts for little without a degree of self-confidence. How they arrive at this complementary awareness is the intriguing subject matter of the film, involving well-meaning single mothers, difficult adolescents and helpless older adults. Yet there's a wider significance to all this in the guise of human stereotypes--how we fall into them and how we can try to get out of them.
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 --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Hugh Grant playing Will , some guy who is doing absolutely nothing . Just watching TV all day , picking up CDs in the store , eating lunch and picking up girls later at night . Will living on his fathers "one hit wonder " song's money and his principle in life is very simple - one man is an island . He needs nothing , he wants nothing and he cares about nothing . But one day Marcus ( Nicholas Hoult ) walks in his life and things beginning to change . Marcus is a 6-7 grade kid , growing up with his single and depressed "hippie" mom . He is bullied at school and has no friends . He just started stopping by at Will's place and " hang around ", anyway Will doing nothing all day .
This relationship changed both their lives for better . And finally Will realized the real life he was missing . One man is never an island after all - you change other people lives , same as they change yours .
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).Read more ›
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.
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!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
About a Boy is a join-up-the-dots kind of film that seems to have been very well received. It is well acted and there is some interest in the rapport between Hugh Grant's... Read morePublished 1 month ago by schumann_bg
A great classic and Hugh grant plays a great role.fast delivery thanks.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
One of my new British favourites! How have I missed this? It's hilarious and heartwarming.
I definitely enjoyed every moment.
Definitely recommend this to everyone.
I have to say that when us Brits do put together a good film, we do it very well, often excelling in gritty drama and brilliant comedy. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Brit Boy
What was that?? The film made no sense, and had a terrible ending. Love Hugh though.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer