About a Boy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

About a Boy Reviews

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½ June 21, 2018
One of my all time favorite movies. Love Hugh Grant in this. And Rachel Weisz is absolutely beautiful!
June 18, 2018
From the author of High Fidelity, Nick Hornby, comes a sweet, funny and heart-warming film of a man trying to come to terms with the fact that he may not be as happy as he thought as a bachelor, while also beginning to open his heart to a young boy who needs a father figure. Like in High Fidelity, the main character narrates the story, but unlike High Fidelity, you actually care about the main character's insecurities. Instead of seeing Hugh Grant as a whiner, you get the impression he just hasn't been shown what he is missing. The audience, in turn, almost wants to lead Hugh down the right path. The casting is excellent, the story is adorable, the dialogue is witty and the result is a fantastic movie.

Everyone knows someone who is just a little short of where he should be in terms of life and family. Not that every person should get married, have kids, etc., but there comes a point where everyone should grow up. And despite how fun it might be to sleep with lots of people, party all the time, etc., the fact is the meaning of life is to gradually learn, improve and move on. When people reach the age of 30, 40, etc. and they still act like they are 22 year old college students, denial has set in. These people do not want to admit they are getting older. Yes, with medical advances, people can certainly postpone having children, and consequently marriage, until later in life, but who wants to voluntarily be a father of a 2 year-old at 40?? Having both a 6 year old and 2 year old at 29, I'm telling you...you do NOT want to chase down a 2 year-old after getting gray hair.

But I digress...

The example I talk about is pretty much the personality of Hugh Grant's character, Will, in About a Boy. Having inherited royalties from a popular Christmas song his father wrote, "Santa's Super Sleigh," Will rides around town all day in his Audi TT scoping the chicks and avoiding responsibility. If he is home, he's watching TV. If he is out, he is trying to get laid. Sound like anyone you know? If so, then you know there are always a few characters, usually relatives, around telling him what he should be doing to straighten his life and grow up. Will, as you guessed, has these same caring people in his life who constantly try to point him down the path of the straight and narrow. Hugh Grant is the perfect actor to play this part since he has played the reluctant father (9 Months) and slimeball boyfriend (Bridget Jones' Diary) in other movies. Throw in his brilliant comic timing and a witty script and you see what I mean.

The bright spot in this movie, aside from Hugh's flawless performance, is the unusually interesting child actor, Nicholas Hoult, who plays Marcus, the boy who will change Will's life. Marcus, like Will, has needs. He is a young man who is forced to be older than he is since he has a mother, played by Toni Collette, who is suicidal and a basket-case. Unlike Will, however, Marcus narrows down what he needs to make his life better and seeks it out. In this case, he believes he needs another person in he and his mom's life, specifically a husband for his mom/dad for him.

Through a series of circumstances, which I will not go into since it will take away from much of the humor of the story, Marcus and Will meet. Forcibly, Marcus inches more into Will's life until Will realizes that Marcus is what he is missing. Although the story is a bit fed to the viewer, in typical Hollywood fashion, watching Will transform from a self-absorbed single guy who measured the progress of his day in "units" (which is hilarious...and equally pathetic) to a mentor and father figure for young Marcus is heart-warming. I will admit it is easier for me to be touched by this movie than single people though since the impact you see on the screen is that of a child on an adult. Those who do not have children may not fully understand this impact kids have on their parents/loved ones.

In any case, About a Boy is a must-see, if only for Hugh Grant's comedic brilliance. Though I hear the book is different in its approach of telling the story, the movie is definitely worth a look.
½ May 26, 2018
All stars at their finest and a wonderful beginning by Nicholas Hoult. As always, Toni Collette shines in difficult roles. A wonderful story and charmingly told.
March 3, 2018
Great fun movie to watch whenever. Hugh grant is great and the kid who is beast from the Xmen movies is great.
February 1, 2018
... who becomes a man... SPOILED
January 28, 2018
After watching this movie, I read all the book of Nick Hornby. So thanks About a boy, and thanks Nick.
January 1, 2018
Oddly charming. I typically don't care for British films or Hugh Grant if I am being honest, but I really like this. (First viewing - 3/6/2011)
½ December 29, 2017
One of my favorite Hugh Grant films.
½ December 27, 2017
It was a nice story, but not as good as I hoped.
December 9, 2017
About a Boy, released in 2002, is a semi-romantic comedy about a playboy who has decided to join a single parent's group in an effort to obtain the affections of the stereotypical, doting, and insecure single mom. There's only one catch...he isn't a parent. Will, played by Hugh Grant, winds up getting a little more than he bargained for with the appearance of a young boy, Marcus, who is seeking a role model. Marcus is the nerdy, unassuming child of single mom Fiona, who is an emotional basket case. After Fiona attempts to take her life, Marcus finds solace in the company of Will, much to Will's dismay. Will prefers to bide his time being emotionally unattached, where Marcus seeks the comfort and stability that he doesn't have with his mom. Though Marcus starts out being an obstacle in Will's way, he results in becoming Will's solution, as he teaches Will the joy and comfort of having people in your life to care about and spend your time with. Meanwhile, Will serves as a guide for Marcus' failed attempts at making friends and establishing himself as "cool" at his new school. Marcus ditches these attempts in a pivotal scene where he chooses to sing "Killing Me Softly" for his school talent show, in an effort to make his mom happy. Will comes to his aid at the show, making an even bigger fool of himself and saving Marcus from being the laughing stock of his school. This act is a prime example of Will's newfound ability to care about someone other than himself. I would argue that Marcus doesn't make as profound of a journey in the film, though he does end up with a few more friends than he started out with.

I found the film to be emotionally moving, in that, it was wonderful to see the compassion, care, and courage that the two main characters showed toward each other. It was also heartbreaking to watch Marcus go through the repercussions of watching his own mother try to kill herself. I would say that this film is a semi-romantic comedy because there is a touch of romance in the film, especially in the relationship between Will and Rachel. There also is a lot of depth and warmth to the relationship between Will and Marcus that isn't typical in a lot of comedies. I feel that overall, this film was incredibly well done, well-written, and well-acted. I couldn't imagine any other actor being in any of the roles in the film. It truly is outstanding work.
October 17, 2017
How does this great film not merit a higher viewer score????!!!!!! A brilliant and touching comedy with Grant and Collette at their best. Comedy for people with brains as well as heart.
October 7, 2017
"About a Boy" takes a ridiculous premise, mounts its tension around it, and sets it in the background. Instead, we're given one hell of a rom-com combined with an effective coming-of-age tale combined with a Hugh Grant vehicle, and it miraculously works, thanks to strong performances from Grant, Hoult, Weisz, and Collette. Not to mention, it has a strong script that provides a foundation for all of these things to work properly.
½ October 6, 2017
I will say Hugh Grant is tolerable in this one more than any of his other work but it's still a cliche and pretty forgettable rom-com that doesn't memorably capture chemistry between him and the boy or any particular woman. Toni Collette is great in her role for what it is, but it's a pretty bland screenplay.
September 27, 2017
Kind of a run of the mill movie
August 6, 2017
This is one of my favorite movies, and I just rewatched the entire movie a couple weeks ago. I find the acting great, and the message to be admirable. I like how family is being redefined as more than a nuclear biological unit, but it is being defined in this movie as a larger group of friends and colleagues who play meaningful roles in the lives of each other. I like how the relationship between Hugh Grant and the boy develops slowly and isn't instantly perfect. I liked how Grant's character slowly matures over time and even the first scenes where he is unabashedly single and childfree are funny and warm. I like the lack of judgmentalism towards unconventional lifestyles in this movie and its inclusiveness. The last scene where Grant and the boy sing at the talent show is priceless. I think Grant did a great job acting in this role. So did Collette and the boy. Weisz was also good.
August 5, 2017
I love this movie. It's nuanced and endearing. Worth the watch
August 5, 2017
The movie itself, with it's tone and mood, feels incredibly developed. Hugh Grant is fantasic in this, may I mention.The adaptation from the book is a rare instance in which it's better. The characters feel more grounded, the story feels more solid and while the ending was changed it was oddly more moving and effective, plus it refrained from being too steriotypical. A great movie
June 30, 2017
second fave comedy ever "i am an island, im fucking Ibiza" classic
jamrcla
Super Reviewer
½ June 17, 2017
Hugh Grant can only act one way but for some strange reason I do enjoy his films and even though his films aren't amazing they are easy to watch and About A Boy is the same with a nice little plot, Some good English comedy thrown in, It's pretty good and clever.
May 2, 2017
Odd themes but funny. Ultimately man cannot be man without having obligations to others
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