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About a Boy
2002 - PG-13 - 105 Mins.
Director: Chris and Paul Weitz
Producer: Jane Rosenthal, Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan, Robert De Niro, Brad Epstein
Written By: Chris and Paul Weitz, Peter Hedges
Starring: Hugh Grant, Rachel Weisz, Toni Collette, Nicholas Hoult, Isabel Brook
Review by: Joe Rickey
   
Hugh Grant has quickly become a main fixture in the romantic comedy genre. His blitz on the genre started with the film Notting Hill and continued with such films as Bridget Jones’s Diary. He has become a rather popular actor from roles in these widely seen films. He again returns to his favorite genre of films in the English film titled About a Boy, which is directed by the Weitz brothers of American Pie fame.

Bachelor Will (Hugh Grant, Notting Hill) has lived the singles life for a while now with his group of close friends. Then he views his friends growing up and settling down with their new wives. While this is occurring he befriends a twelve-year-old boy (Nicholas Hoult) who quickly becomes a friend of sorts. Together they begin to mature to the ways of the world around them.

About a Boy is a mostly run-of-the-mill romantic comedy. It never gets as enjoyable as Bridget Jones’s Diary but does have some moments of humorous glee. Hugh Grant plays the sort of down on his luck character that he often plays and does it well. He delivers his lines with utmost skill and is gifted with great comic timing. Costar Hoult is also funny at times but suffers from the curse that most young actors experience-he is often really annoying with his high-pitched line delivery. Other costars include Toni Collette (Changing Lanes), and Rachel Weisz (The Mummy Returns). They act out their respective roles with skill for the most part but Weisz doesn’t do as much with her role as she certainly could have.

All the actors are held back by a sometimes cheesy script by Peter Hedges and Paul and Chris Weitz. This film makes it evident that the two brothers are more suited for making teen comedies rather than adult romantic comedies because they are clearly holding back their potentially more vulgar set of jokes in favor of some touching moments.

Direction by the Weitz brothers is unremarkable and not nearly as fun and stylish as their American Pie film that made them famous. The original music score by Damon Gough is appropriately light-hearted but doesn’t do anything special to stand out from other such films. Cinematography by Remi Adefarasin is similarly unexceptional but effective nonetheless.

Overall, About a Boy is a sporadically funny and touching romantic comedy that isn’t as good as Bridget Jones’s Diary but still makes for a fun movie going experience.
 
Movie Guru Rating
Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not.
  3 out of 5 stars

 
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