Monday, March 14, 2005

About a Boy (2002)

Starring Hugh Grant, Toni Collette, Nicholas Hoult, et al
Rated PG-13, 101 minutes

We saw this movie in creative writing class at school to punctuate the style of narration or something. Whatever. It ended up being really good.

The movie was directed by the pair who oversaw “American Pie” and based off a novel by the fellow who wrote the book “High Fidelity.” “About a Boy” is the story of Will (played by Hugh Grant). Will is single, and by his own description, “an island.” His whole day is about him. Will is able to do this because he is jobless – living off the royalties of a song his father wrote. We join him at a quest to get a date. He figures his best target is single moms.

Meanwhile a young boy named Marcus (Hoult) is having trouble at school. Fitting in and all that clich├ęd stuff. But it isn’t quite as repetitious as you’re used to. As I alluded to up there, the whole movie is narrated by Will and Marcus’ characters. Their dialogue is the most endearing and great part about the film. No holds are barred, each character fully speaks their mind in the narration, and it’s hilarious. In a room of my peers, we were all laughing hysterically. And this wasn’t fart jokes and swearing – this was just people talking. And it was funny.

So eventually, Will employs Marcus as his “son.” The two end up becoming friends, despite some tumultuousness from Marcus’ suicidal mother (Collette).

I agree with the sentiments from my peers. The ending was a bit too sappy for the direction the film took at the beginning, but is forgivable following all the other minutes of enjoyment. The characters were well played; they invoked emotion from me. Will is so incredibly selfish, but I found myself rooting for him the whole way. The soundtrack was entirely original and pretty darn good.

I can’t imagine the DVD costs much, so if you can grab it – do it. If you prefer dialogue for your funny, then this is a very, very fun film. I guess you could call it a “romantic comedy,” but this isn’t nearly as sap-drilled as those that define that genre. From the regular five, I give “About a Boy”...


And I was even going in expecting to hate Hugh Grant! C’mon, what more could you want?

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