About a Boy

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About a Boy
Review (7.5/10)
(By Blair Barbesin)

The biggest surprise to me was that I thought this movie was about a boy. I guess it was - just not the boy I thought it was going to be. The boy of the movie is none other than Will (Hugh Grant). A bachelor and pick up artist who wants nothing more out of life than to watch his TV, play pool and shag some new chick every two weeks or so. That is until he meets Marcus (Nicholas Holt) who is a twelve year old boy, but is actually more mature and grown up than Will. Will never left the adolescent stage of his life, he never had to. He never took any responsibility at all - not even a job. Marcus is the exact opposite. He is very much responsible for taking care of his mother and dealing with her depression to stop her from trying to kill herself.

Don't worry, its not a depressing tale of life. This movie is actually a feel good tale, not a warm and fuzzy one that makes you want to puke or scream out "CHICK FLICK!!!!". It's actually an interesting tale of self realization and awareness of oneself. Not just for Will, but for the other main characters of the story as well. From Will to Marcus and Fiona (Marcus's mother), each one transforms themselves, from a tormented person to a peaceful one. Will learns to become someone that matters, Marcus learns to be a twelve year old kid and his mother learns to be happy with herself.

The journey that they take is fraught with the usual ups and downs, but they are well played out and lend to the fleshing out of the characters. This movie could have been one big bad clich?, but the screenplay manages to give all the characters dignity, wit and true feelings of anger, sadness and everything in between. Nothing about the characters seems fake. Except for Will - and only at the beginning of the movie - but he was supposed to be that way.

Hugh Grant could be the Frank Capra side of Jimmy Stewart. I think he is a great leading man in the same vein as Stewart was - an actor that has nailed romantic comedy down pat. He delivers a very good performance of a man in denial, and his steady transformation into a mature adult. His ride is not smooth. It's not easy to wake up one day and finally figure out that you are nothing with nothing, then to try to be something. It's a hard step to take. With the help of Marcus, he does take that first step and continues right down that path.

Marcus is the weird kid in school that no one, including the geeks, wants to hang with. Nicholas Holt plays a very convincing teenager with a messed up mother and antisocial tendencies at school, because he doesn't know how to be a kid. Well, Will helps Marcus be that kid by teaching him about kid stuff and Marcus helps Will be the grown up by teaching him about truth and responsibility. Because of this, each one gains their proper acceptance among their peers as their roles in life become properly defined.

It's an odd pair those two, but by the end, the boy of the title name is no longer Will but Marcus. Just the way it should be.

Keyword : Eli, Be Happy, Comedy, Social, Teen, Romantic, School, You, Shin, Ant, About a Boy, Deal, DIG, Ex, Good, Nailed, Out, Screen, Take, The Ex, Two Weeks, Up, War, Will, Bi, Now, Ady, Frau, Tere


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