Monday, September 13, 2010

Movie of the Week - About a Boy

This week’s movie is About a Boy (2002).

The comedy based on Nick Hornby’s novel is about Will, a selfish man who is reaching an age at which he no longer can get by merely on charm. He must grow up and make something of his life. He meets a young boy, Marcus, who is also facing issues in his life. Together, the two of them form a friendship and help each other grow up and overcome their social obstacles. The film is directed by Chris and Paul Weitz, who together also made American Pie and Down to Earth, and apart have directed a number of high profile films (but seldom anything good, In Good Company being the one possible outlier), but About a Boy is their best and most aesthetically interesting film. The film’s fine aesthetics are likely due to the collaboration between the brothers and very good production designer Jim Clay (recently worked on Children of Men and The Brother Bloom) and cinematographer Remi Adefarasin (whose work includes Band of Brothers and Match Point). Damon Gough (stage name Badly Drawn Boy) provides the score, which is rare as he has only done two, and a number of songs. The score is another aspect that elevates the film, as it is involving – in that it entertains but is also emotionally engaging. Stars Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult are both quite good and work well off each other (it is probably Grant’s best film of the decade, both in terms of his performance and in the overall quality of the film). Toni Collette and Rachel Weisz highlight the supporting cast. What makes the film great is how well the story progresses and the journey of the characters (it is a Nick Hornby story after all). It is really funny yet moving at the same time, while avoiding cheesy clichés that muck up most films that strive to be comedies with a heart. It is a must of fans of Hornby, Hugh Grant and comedies in general. Check out the trailer.

About a Boy is available on DVD at

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