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ABOUT A BOY

A fatherless lad teaches a relentless womanizer how to be a man.


CAST: Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult, Toni Collette, Rachel Weisz, Isabel Brook, Sharon Small, Victoria Smurfit, Nicholas Hutchison, Peter McNicholl, Ben Ridgeway

DIRECTORS: Chris and Paul Weitz


"I'd just about given up on Hugh Grant, but in 'About a Boy' he drops his stuttery-suave routine and comes through with some genuine emotion... 'About a Boy' is sophisticated and nuanced, and every character is bursting with emotional contradictions... It's rare to find a comedy that also hits the low notes as well as this one does. It's inevitable that this movie is going to be referred to as a male version of 'Bridget Jones's Diary' (which Grant also starred in), but it's light years ahead of that dippy, curdled confection." -Peter Rainer, New York

 


"Hugh Grant has grown up, holding on to his lightness and witty cynicism but losing the stuttering sherry-club mannerisms that were once his signature. In doing so, he has blossomed into the rare actor who can play a silver-tongued sleaze with a hidden inner decency...part of the picture's funky sweetness is that codirectors Paul and Chris Weitz, aiming a bit higher than they did in'American Pie,' do more than transform Will from a trampy hedonist into a nice guy. They trace the careful, step-by-step process through which compassion starts to feel more real to him than his shiny, empty mirror of a life did...It would have been nice if the big school-performance scene at the end were as inspiring a heart-tugger as it wants to be. Alas, it's a mixture of the heroic and the embarrassing..." -Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

"... the Weitz brothers--notorious as the authors of the "American Pie" series--handle the sentimentality of the story with a light, sweet touch. Their version of Mr. Hornby's cheeky pop style is less inventive than the one Stephen Frears put forward in 'High Fidelity' two years ago, but also more satisfying...Mr. Grant, leaning on his mumbling charm until it turns into its opposite, is an ideal cad...You succumb to the movie's warmth and bonhomie because the alternative is to remain in the isolating, self-protective cynicism from which Will has been lucky to escape." -A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"Given the trajectory of the plot--immature, selfish single man is set straight by relationship with lonely kid--it's almost a miracle that this smart, painfully funny adaptation of the best-selling Nick Hornby novel never gives way to sentimentality...Without Grant's soft-edged charm--and superb comic timing--it would be impossible to root for Will, a cynical, narcissistic womanizer...Collette and Hoult both give convincing, courageous performances, but 'About a Boy' is really another triumph for Grant..." -Jonathan Foreman, The New York Post

'...a flaccid, witless, depressing soap-operatic sitcom...it takes more than the presence of Hugh Grant--looking spent and bored, despite his incessant mugging--to transform a flimsy scenario into a solid, resonant romantic comedy. This 'Boy' suffers from stunted growth." --Guy Flatley, Moviecrazed

"Even people who don't usually like Hugh Grant will be charmed by him in the scrappy, slightly scandalous comedy 'About a Boy.' The foppish, self-deprecating, shambling romantic of 'Notting Hill' is gone. In his place is a new Hugh, a guy with no conscience who pretends he is a single father in order to get more dates. Even so, he remains adorable..." -Jami Bernard, The New York Daily News