.

About A Boy

Hugh Grant, Rachel Weisz

Directed by Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
May 17, 2002

It could have been cute to the point of cringing. Will (Hugh Grant) is a London bachelor supported by a trust fund from his songwriter dad. Will seduces single moms (because it's easier) and dumps them without a twinge, until a twelve-year-old misfit, Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), teaches him that life can have meaning. Don't despair. Grant, with his hair spiked and a wit to match, is in the bastard mode of his role in Bridget Jones's Diary. He's replaced the stammering charm with something tighter, meaner, more self-absorbed. It's a smart move. The acid comedy of Grant's performance carries the film.

It helps also that newcomer Hoult is that rare child actor who mercifully underplays the pathos of his role. Marcus is bullied at school, his hippie mom, Fiona (Toni Collette), is suicidal, and Will makes him pretend to be his son so he can prove his parental worth to his latest single-mom target, Rachel (the excellent Rachel Weisz).

Will's redemption has an assembly-line feel that the 1998 novel by Nick Hornby (High Fidelity) astutely avoided. And in updating the film from the novel's early-Nineties time frame, with its references to Nirvana and the death of Kurt Cobain, directors Chris and Paul Weitz — they did the funny American Pie, not the fatuous sequel — lose some edge. No matter. Grant gives this pleasing heartbreaker the touch of gravity it needs.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Stillness Is the Move”

    Dirty Projectors | 2009

    A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com