Hugh Grant has quickly become a main fixture in the romantic comedy
genre. His blitz on the genre started with the film Notting Hill
and continued with such films as Bridget Jones's Diary. He has become
a rather popular actor from roles in these widely seen films. He
again returns to his favorite genre of films in the English film titled
About a Boy, which is directed by the Weitz brothers of American Pie fame.
Bachelor Will (Hugh Grant, Notting Hill) has lived the singles life
for a while now with his group of close friends. Then he views his
friends growing up and settling down with their new wives. While
this is occurring he befriends a twelve-year-old boy (Nicholas Hoult)
who quickly becomes a friend of sorts. Together they begin to mature
to the ways of the world around them.
About a Boy is a mostly run-of-the-mill romantic comedy. It never
gets as enjoyable as Bridget Jones's Diary but does have some moments
of humorous glee. Hugh Grant plays the sort of down on his luck character
that he often plays and does it well. He delivers his lines with
utmost skill and is gifted with great comic timing. Costar Hoult
is also funny at times but suffers from the curse that most young
actors experience-he is often really annoying with his high-pitched
line delivery. Other costars include Toni Collette (Changing Lanes),
and Rachel Weisz (The Mummy Returns). They act out their respective
roles with skill for the most part but Weisz doesn't do as much with
her role as she certainly could have.
All the actors are held back by a sometimes cheesy script by Peter
Hedges and Paul and Chris Weitz. This film makes it evident that
the two brothers are more suited for making teen comedies rather than
adult romantic comedies because they are clearly holding back their
potentially more vulgar set of jokes in favor of some touching moments.
Direction by the Weitz brothers is unremarkable and not nearly as
fun and stylish as their American Pie film that made them famous.
The original music score by Damon Gough is appropriately light-hearted
but doesn't do anything special to stand out from other such films.
Cinematography by Remi Adefarasin is similarly unexceptional but effective nonetheless.
Overall, About a Boy is a sporadically funny and touching romantic
comedy that isn't as good as Bridget Jones's Diary but still makes
for a fun movie going experience.
Copyright © 2002 Joe R