| About a Boy (2002) |
From the U.K., 2002, starring Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult, Rachel Weisz. This comedy is turning into one of my favorite films because it offers characters a man can identify with, both the adult role of Hugh Grant and the bullied, tormented 12-year-old boy played by Nicholas Hoult.
Hugh Grant plays a loner and womanizer named Will who joins a rather loopy single-parents group (lying about having a son) solely to find lonely women to score with. But as a result he meets Fiona and her son Marcus and, contrary to his loner lifestyle, gets involved when Fiona attempts suicide. The tormented and confused boy, who can't really communicate with his mother, seeks out Will instead as a father-figure.
This film is great because almost nothing in Hollywood portrays any form of
intergenerational male bonding. Marcus finds an outlet to talk about his
problems, and gets some advice and mentoring. An amusing scene is when they share their respective women-problems with each other, and in fact exchange advice. This leads to a climax of sorts where Will rescues Marcus from a most embarrassing social situation.
The single-parents circle, completely female before Will joins it, appears to
promote feminist doctrine but Will shakes it off, and in fact points out its
utter uselessness because Fiona is suicidal despite this form of
"support-group." Will lays it on the line when he confronts Fiona and says she doesn't understand what her son is going through (and possibly that Will's male perspective can help.) Naturally, after all the comic antics, Will's life is never the same again and he opens up his life to a larger circle of people, though continuing to assert his independence, not as a brow-beaten "new male".
I would give this film four stars, two "happy male" signs, and though feminists crop up in the film and say their piece, no puking.
- Reviewed by Draconian