About a Boy (DVD)

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Hugh Grant takes the lead role as aimless, commitment-shy, thirtysomething Will in this adaptation of Nick Hornby's bestseller. Living on the royalties of a hit song his father wrote 40 years ago, Will drifts through life, moving from one relationship to the next with little lasting effect. But when he hits upon the new idea of dating single-mothers, he soon finds himself entangled with the suicidal Fiona (Toni Colette) and her 12-year-old-son Marcus (Nicholas Hoult). As he and Marcus gradually develop a friendship, Will begins to reassess the selfish life he has been living.

Product Details

Movies & TV
2 Dec 2002
Region 2
  • Interactive Menus
  • Bonus Footage
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Interviews: Badly Drawn Boy
  • Commentary: Directors Chris and Paul Weitz
  • Making Of Documentary
  • Bonus Tracks: Badly Drawn Boy music videos
98 min
Age Restriction
Supply Source


About a Boy
Release Year
Running Time
102 min
Comedies / Friendships / London, England / Romance / Theatrical Release
US Box Office
$40.6 million
Official Website
Rotten Tomatoes®
93% 54%
ABOUT A BOY, directed by Chris and Paul Weitz, stars Hugh Grant as Will Freeman, a proudly self-absorbed 38-year-old Londoner. Living lavishly off the royalties from a hit Christmas song penned by his father, Will excels at nothing except doing nothing, which, in his case, includes shopping for CDs and having his hair "professionally disheveled." When Will makes a guilt-free exit from a brief fling with a single mom, he decides to crash a meeting of S.P.A.T. (Single Parents, Alone Together) in pursuit of more single mothers. This scheme leads to meeting Suzie (Victoria Smurfit) and Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), the socially awkward 12-year-old son of her flaky best friend, Fiona (Toni Collette). A series of odd situations leads to Will and Marcus becoming unlikely friends, and gradually both of their lives start to change for the better. However, when Will falls for the lovely Rachel (Rachel Weisz) and attempts to pass Marcus off as his son, things go awry. In order to win the heart of Rachel and make amends with Marcus, Will must finally grow up--and completely embarrass himself in front of hundreds of people.

Reveling in its characters' quirks and flaws, ABOUT A BOY is a smart, funny, and fast-paced comedy, meticulously crafted by the Weitz brothers. Grant, in possibly the best performance of his career, wisely covers his patented charm with a shallow facade, and Hoult avoids being too cute or precocious; instead, the two actors develop believable characters that grudgingly warm up to each other. Collette is suitably bizarre as a depressed hippie mother, and Weisz provides excellent support in her relatively small role. However, it's clear from the title that this film is about the boys. And that includes Badly Drawn Boy (aka Damon Gough) who contributes an outstanding soundtrack that recalls Simon and Garfunkel's work on THE GRADUATE. Given Nick Hornby's excellent source material, ABOUT A BOY could have easily been an enjoyable movie, but in the hands of its talented collaborators, it's a truly exceptional tale.
Theatrical release: May 17, 2002
Poster for About a Boy
Cast & Crew
Chris Weitz / Paul Weitz
Toni Collette / Hugh Grant / Nicholas Hoult / Victoria Smurfit / Rachel Weisz
Peter Hedges / Chris Weitz / Paul Weitz
Source Writer
Nick Hornby / Author: Nick Hornby
Badly Drawn Boy
Executive Producer
Lynn Harris / Nick Hornby
Tim Bevan / Robert DeNiro / Brad Epstein / Eric Fellner / Jane Rosenthal
Movie Critics
Chicago Sun-Times
"...Hugh Grant, who has a good line in charm, has never been more charming than in ABOUT A BOY....A comedy of confidence and grace..."
Roger Ebert (1 Jan 1970, p.31)
Entertainment Weekly
"...Hugh Grant has grown up, holding on to his lightness and witty cynicism....Grant draws on, and deepens, his enjoyable performance as the seducer boss in Bridget Jones' Diary..."
Owen Gleiberman (24 May 2002, p.61-2)
Hollywood Reporter
"...Thanks to the excellently adapted script, we are shown a group of characters with real emotional depth....The Weitzes have directed the film with great ability..."
Mark Adams (26 Mar 2002, p.64)
Movieline's Hollywood Life
"...The script contains an arresting mixture of uproarious, tender, and bitingly abrasive moments....This is a captivating film; superlative writing and acting make it soar..."
Stephen Farber (1 May 2002, p.40-1)
New York Times
"...[The directors] handle the sentimentality of the story with a light, sweet touch....You succumb to the movie's warmth and bonhomie..."
A. O. Scott (17 May 2002, p.E1)
Sight and Sound
"...A pleasurable experience..."
Kim Newman (1 May 2002, p.36)
Total Film
"...[The directors] deliver a punchy, smirking script, laced with irreverence. Just as importantly, there's real chemistry between Grant and his young co-star..."
James White (2 May 2002, p.92)
USA Today
"...ABOUT A BOY is that rare film that's as clever and moving as the book on which it was based....It's a well-written, witty film whose memorable characters grapple with the nature of family, love, friendship and despair..."
Claudia Puig (17 May 2002, p.15D)
Wall Street Journal
"This is better than feelgood movie, it's a feelgreat movie -- affecting when you least expect it and funny from start to finish."
(9 Oct 2009, )