Will is a self absorbed, shallow womaniser, who spends his days watching TV and sectioning his life into 30-minute units, while shamelessly believing that 'every man is an island'.
Markus is a 12-year-old boy who hates school mainly because school hates him. He lives with his unhinged mother and is a vegetarian (frankly the boy doesn’t stand a chance).
By a slightly unrealistic twist of events the two characters meet and alter each other’s lives and perceptions forever (‘scuse the cliché)
Based on the Nick Hornby (High Fidelity,Fever pitch) bestseller, and brought to the screens by Working Title (Bridget Jones’s Diary, Nottinghill),About a Boy has been billed as the first must see movie of this year.
Oddly, I’m inclined to agree.
I liked this movie. No, I mean I really liked it. I am quite cynical by nature, stubborn as a mule and generally a film snob, but 'About a Boy' blazed through all that, leaving me with a dumb smile on my face.
Hugh Grant proves that there is more to him than floppy hair and an apparently endearing foppish stammer. Nicholas Hoult as Markus, is incredibly convincing as the kid most likely to be found hanging with a super sonic wedge, from a peg in the boys' changing room.
The relationship between the two characters is really touching, and the film manages to steer clear of being too trite to swallow. The humour is made less obvious and farcical, as it is counterbalanced by the sadness of much of Markus’ situation with his unbalanced mother. I left the cinema wondering whether Nick Hornby, or any of the film makers involved, actually grew up in a single parent family, cos they hit the nail on the head about the child often having to carry the weight of the lone parents solitude, and at times their down right barmy ness (sorry mum!).
The only thing that did bother me about this movie, and stop me if I’m being petty, but there was no mention of how all these single mums managed to afford to have such nice clothes, good homes and the time to have full time jobs, when they have sprogs and sprogettes running around. It was all a little middle class for me to buy completely.
But generally a film with more depth and humanity than the usual comedy offered to Joe public.
8Sara Lovejoy's Score