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About A Boy

Growing up has nothing to do with age. 

Year: 2002 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
Review: "About A Boy" follows the story of an irresponsible rich layabout named Will (Hugh Grant) and a young boy called Marcus. Following the attempted suicide of his mother, Marcus is drawn to Will's nonchalantly cool lifestyle, his bluntness and world weariness disturbing Will in a way that none of his friends have been able. Despite his best efforts to shake him off, Will eventually sees the benefits of having a pseudo son in helping him attract impressionable young single mothers and the relationship, if not blossoming, grows like a genetically modified fungus.

Maybe it was the floppy hair, but Hugh Grant seemed not so much type-cast as set in grade 3 industrial concrete as the quintessential amiable English idiot. It may not have been annoying him, but it was getting a little tedious for the rest of us. The same applied to the films of Nick Hornby's novels. "Fever Pitch" and "High Fidelity" were both good fun, but could be dismissed as sugary Mick-flicks. It seemed only a matter of time before Hugh Grant and the Hornby narrative would combine in a pleasant but unremarkable collaboration.

What you get is rather different. Gone are the floppy locks, replaced by a new sharper and rougher style that matches this film. Grant seems to relish the change and is convincing as a lazy, rich, self-centred thirty-something. The Weitz brothers have transferred their un-credited set-piece comedic skill from American Pie adding a layer of sophistication and healthy cynicism rarely found in this type of film. Take a new soundtrack from Badly Drawn Boy to follow his acclaimed debut and you have a winner.

"About A Boy" raises both Hugh Grant and the dramatisation of Hornby's novels to a new level. Moving, sophisticated and funny, it was, for me, the most unexpectedly good film of the year.

Stuart Jarvis

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Screenings of this film:

2002/2003 Autumn Term (35mm)
2002/2003 Autumn Term (35mm)
2002/2003 Autumn Term (35mm)