About a Boy

April 15, 2011 - A pre-teen helps Hugh Grant grow up in this 2002 film based on a book by Nick Hornby. Nicholas Hoult plays the boy; Toni Collette is his troubled mom. Rachel Weisz also appears.

Grant plays Will Freeman, a man nearing 40, who really has nothing to show for his life so far. He's never worked. Instead, he lives off the plentiful royalties from a hit holiday song that his father wrote years ago. With no job to go to, he spends his time shopping, listening to music and trying to pick up women.

This latter pursuit leads him to a support group for angry single mothers, which leads to a date with one of those women, which, in turn, leads him to Marcus, the adolescent son of another group member. If ever a boy needed a male role model it's Marcus. Not only is his dad pretty much out of the picture, but his mom, Fiona (Collette), is so caught up in her own personal issues that Marcus is mostly left to fend for himself. He reaches out to Will and, together, they help each other to grow up.

Overall review: *** Grant's charm carries the film and softens the tendency of Marcus and his mom to be overly needy and annoying. The supporting cast is good and the soundtrack is suitably pleasant. Overall, an enjoyable way to pass an hour and 40 minutes.