I saw About A Boy in theaters, which would have made me 14 at the time, and I think that helped me love it. Not that you have to be a kid to enjoy it or anything, but it felt so real to me. I especially identified with Marcus (Nicholas Hoult). Marcus is 12, doesn’t have a ton of friends, gets made fun of, and has a suicidal mother. While I couldn’t directly relate to all of that, there was just something about Marcus that seemed so true. Marcus is kind and thoughtful and likes what he likes, regardless of what people think. But he also seems to be confused by adults sometimes, by their motivations, and of kids his own age. It’s like he knows he’s nice and non-threatening, so it doesn’t make sense to him why he’s bullied. He’s just a nice kid! That was certainly a feeling I could relate to.
Hugh Grant plays Will, a man who lives off the royalties of a hit Christmas song his father wrote. He doesn’t have a job and pretty much literally does nothing except hang around his sweet apartment, go shopping, go to restaurants, and date. It’s the kind of life that seemed unbelievably amazing to me when I first saw this, and sort of wrote off the reactions of the other characters to Will’s lack of motivation because why wouldn’t someone want that kind of life? It’s a very childish mentality, which made sense for me, but also really makes sense for the movie, because even though Will isn’t exactly a fan of children, he’s basically just a giant kid himself. Even though Marcus is in no way indepedent, and a child, he still seems to take more responsibility and has more motivation than Will.
Circumstances and Will’s arrogance bring he and Marcus together, and their dynamic is really interesting and great. They’re both annoyed by each other and care for each other. Will and Marcus’ connection might seem weird and unexpected, but they really just compliment each other. And it all culminates with a pretty amazing scene involving Will helping Marcus perform “Killing Me Softly” at a school talent show to make Marcus’ mom happy. I think About A Boy is just simple – a simple, good story, with good actors. And it makes you feel nice.
I was expecting to really dislike this movie but it was pretty good. It was definitely much funnier than I was expecting. It was weird watching though because I came to know Hoult through the show Skins; it’s crazy to see him as a short chubby kid. If Elizabeth hadn’t mentioned that he was in it I’m not sure if I would of recognized him. I guess he does still have those eyebrows.
I’m kind of interested in seeing what the show’s like that’s going on right now. I think the movie was worth watching but the story didn’t really seem like it could be a show to me.