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Sunday, July 03, 2022

Hollywood Rewind | About a Boy: The coming-of-age tale of an emotionally stunted man

Hugh Grant delivered one of his finest performances as the carefree and emotionally stunted Will in this adaptation of the Nick Hornby book of the same name.

Written by Anvita Singh | New Delhi |
September 7, 2019 7:36:44 am
about a boy Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult film is disarmingly sweet and engaging.

About a Boy movie cast: Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult, Rachel Weisz, Toni Collette
About a Boy movie director: Chris and Paul Weitz
About a Boy movie rating: 4 stars

Love teaches you many things. Perhaps the often-ignored lesson from the emotion is growing up. And this is what the 2002 Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult starrer deals with primarily.

What happens when a man in his late 30s, who basically does nothing in life, is thrusted with the responsibility of an adolescent? The film – which is an adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel of the same name – is not your regular romantic comedy. Yes, it does have elements of both, but that is not the main concern here.

Hugh Grant plays Will Freeman who lives off his father’s work’s royalties. He is an island, he needs no one but his luxuries and the occasional passionate night spent with an interesting and attractive woman. To achieve his second goal, he joins SPAT (Single Parents Alone Together), an organisation where single parents meet and appreciate each other for the work they are doing. Will thinks his ‘female’ issue will be resolved if he becomes a part of the group. And for a moment, everything seems to be going in his favour until he crosses paths with the somewhat reticent and unique Marcus (Hoult).

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Hollywood Rewind: A Few Good Men | 50/50 | Begin Again | Brooklyn | Drive | Chocolat | Batman Begins | 10 Things I Hate About You | The Departed | Freedom Writers | Pretty Woman | Dan in Real Life | Jurassic Park | TangledMeet Joe Black | Monster’s Ball | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind | You’ve Got Mail | Half Nelson | Fight Club | Doubt | American Psycho | Julie and Julia | Forrest Gump | The Silence of the Lambs | Finding Neverland | Roman Holiday| American History X | Tropic Thunder | Before Sunrise | Scent of a Woman | Finding Forrester | Sixteen Candles

As a person who has read the novel the movie is adapted from, I can say that the film is a faithful adaptation. And this is primarily because the screenplay has been written by the author of the book.

Hugh Grant delivers one of his finest performances as the carefree and emotionally stunted Will. Nicholas Hoult, on the other hand, is excellent as the child who is forced to mature faster owing to a mentally disturbed mother. The accompanying background score compliments the mood of the film well and as surprising as it might sound, About a Boy still ‘looks’ very modern. It has been shot, edited and compiled in a fashion that makes it seem timeless. Or maybe it has aged well, or it could be that we are still stuck with the same issues as we were a couple of decades ago. Either way, About a Boy will be well worth your time if you have 1 hour and 40 minutes to spare.

The film is currently streaming on Netflix.

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