No Man is an Island
About a Boy
Review by Ross Anthony

Simply put: "This is a very fine movie -- go see it"

Hugh Grant, top form; the young Nicholas Hoult, matching beats. Though the screenplay demands no 'single' strong female lead, a mixed assortment of rich women characters are portrayed distinctly by talented actresses. Quietly strong performances pepper and score a rock solid script complete with humor, charm, and even sentiment. My goodness, there was even one scene where Grant (yes, Hugh Grant) choked me up a bit.

Will's sister describes her brother (Grant), "You're 38, you don't have a job, you do nothing all day, you haven't had a relationship lasting more than two months ... your life is pointless."

To which Grant agrees, "You're right, my life is pointless, thanks for clearing that up to me." Not terribly impressed with Grant some years back, he won me over with "Notting Hill," and in "About a Boy" he tops even that performance:

"I never saw a women cry without feeling responsible."

"I didn't 'mean' things, and I knew that guaranteed me a long depression free life."

Interestingly enough, the film is produced by Robert De Niro among others and directed by the Weitz brothers of "American Pie." Grant said of them, "Although capable of fabulous infantilism, they're also extremely serious and learned people." And he also said, "I have a brother and the idea of directing a film together is unthinkable. There would be blood on the floor before lunchtime. But these two are spookily nice to each other."

Unformula. Fresh. Never a lull. Always compelling, sharp, crisp, caring.

  • About a Boy. Copyright © 2002. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult, Sharon Small, Madison Cook, Jordan Cook, Nicholas Hutchison, Toni Collette.
  • Directed by Paul Weitz, Chris Weitz.
  • Screenplay by Peter Hedges, Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz.
  • Based on the book by Nick Hornby.
  • Produced by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro, Brad Epstein, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner at Kalima/Universal/Studio Canal/Working Title.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Wednesday, 23-Feb-2011 20:09:08 PST