About a Boy
About a Boy: the boys in question are Will (Hugh Grant), an adult comfy with his lack of responsibility and endless womanizing; and 12-year-old Marcus (the delightful child actor Nicholas Hoult), who is bully-fodder at his school. One of Will's many flings is a friend of Marcus's mother (Toni Collette). With fitting serendipity Marcus is soon spending plenty of time at Will's pad. The boy tries to set the man-child up with his mom, but Will is pursuing single mother Rachel (Rachel Weisz). The mature boy and childish man unexpectedly help each other grow to fit better with life's unpredictable edges.
Directors Paul and Chris Weitz coax this scenario into an excellent drama with the temerity to face Attack of the Clones on opening weekend. Their well-acted tale turns characters into tangible people. Grant is charming but flawed—or it is flawed but charming?—either way, it's delightful to see him tackle the material with gusto. The ever-radiant Rachel Weisz, Toni Collette, and young Hoult form a strong, flexible ensemble. About a Boy is based on a novel by Nick Hornsby (High Fidelity), and the material translates well in this skilled adaptation.