Stars: Hugh Grant, Toni Collette, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 102 minutes
A box-office smash in England, About a Boy went on to charm the world as another fine adaptation (following High Fidelity) of a popular Nick Hornby novel. While High Fidelity transplanted its London charm to Chicago, this irresistible comedy was directed by Americans Chris and Paul Weitz (American Pie) with its British pedigree intact. Better yet, Hugh Grant is perfectly cast as Will, a self-absorbed trust-fund slacker who tries to improve his romantic odds by preying on desperate single mothers. His cynical strategy backfires when he recruits the misfit son (Nicholas Hoult) of a suicidal mother (Toni Collette) to pose as his own son, thus proving his parental prowess to his latest single-mom target (Rachel Weisz). The kid has a warming effect on this ultimate cad, and what could have been a sappy tearjerker turns into a subtle, frequently hilarious portrait of familial quirks and elevated self-esteem. From start to finish, it's a genuine treat. --Jeff Shannon
The thing is, a person's life is like a TV show. I was the star of The Will Show. And The Will Show wasn't an ensemble drama. Guests came and went, but I was the regular. It came down to me and me alone. If Marcus' mum couldn't manage her own show, if her ratings were falling, it was sad, but that was her problem. Ultimately, the whole single mum plotline was a bit complicated for me.
I find the key is to think of a day as units of time, each unit consisting of no more than thirty minutes. Full hours can be a little bit intimidating and most activities take about half an hour. Taking a bath: one unit, watching countdown: one unit, web-based research: two units, exercising: three units, having my hair carefully disheveled: four units. It's amazing how the day fills up, and I often wonder, to be absolutely honest, if I'd ever have time for a job; how do people cram them in?
I can understand why you're angry, Marcus. But I don't feel the same as I did yesterday, if it's any help.
What? It's all gone away? All that?
No, but, for the moment, I feel better.
The moment's no good for me. I can see you feel better at the moment. You just put the kettle on. What happens when you finish your tea? What happens when I go back to school? I can't be here to watch you all the time!
I'll come if you take my mom, too. She hasn't got any money, so either we'll have to go somewhere cheap, or you'll have to treat us.
Well, listen, don't beat about the bush, Marcus.
Why should I? We're poor, you're rich, you pay. You can bring your little boy if you like. I don't mind.
That's really big of you.