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About A Boy

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: About A Boy

Starring: Hugh Grant, Toni Collette
Director: Chris Weitz
Rated: PG
RunTime: 100 Minutes
Release Date: May 2002
Genres: Comedy, Romance

*Also starring: Nicholas Hoult, Victoria Smurfit, Rachel Weisz, Isabel Brook

Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

If you loved Hugh Grant in "Notting Hill" and "Four Weddings and a Funeral," you won't want to miss this wry comedy/drama in which the bumbling Brit plays Will, a shallow, 38 year-old London bachelor on the prowl. Blessed - or cursed - with an inheritance from his father's pop hit tune, "Santa's Super Sleigh," that enables him to lead a hip, irresponsible life of leisure, Will has never had a job or been in a relationship that lasted more than two months. His current conduit to low-emotional-risk liaisons is membership in Single Parents Alone Together (SPAT) where, after resourcefully inventing a fictitious two year-old son, he figures he can meet some single mothers. Not that he wants to be a father, of course. "In my opinion," he says smugly, "all men are islands - and should be." On the other hand, 12 year-old Marcus (Nicholas Hoult) leads a lonely, miserable life, both at home and at school, where he's shunned, bullied and considered a misfit. Saddled with a suicidally depressed mother (Toni Collette) and an alarming tendency to sing Joni Mitchell songs aloud, clueless Marcus simply doesn't stand a chance until he meets suave Will who, reluctantly, becomes his mentor. (The title stems from "About a Girl," a '92 Nirvana song.) Based on Nick Hornby's popular British novel and adapted by Peter Hedges with directors Chris & Paul Weitz, the dual coming-of-age story about the emotional risks of friendship and love is filled with deviously deceptive wit and substance, as deeply poignant as it is devilishly funny. Grant's never been better. His brilliantly inspired comedic and touching dramatic performance, as the child-like adult, sparks an irresistible dynamic with Hoult, as the precocious child. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "About a Boy" is an engaging 8 - about the struggle to grow up at any age.

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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