About a Boy
<strong>Rating: </strong>5/5Rate this
Time Out saysWhat's surprising about this film are its writer/directors, who previously made American Pie, and the fact that one of its five producers is De Niro, whose Tribeca optioned Nick Hornby's book. Otherwise, it's all you'd expect of a Working Title Britfilm (light, cannily international); of a Hugh Grant comedy (gently rather than raucously funny); and of a Hornby cautionary tale about a self-centred male attaining belated maturity through love's discovery. The difference here is that the catalyst for change is a child, not a woman. If Grant appears a touch uncomfortable as rich but relatively downmarket slacker and womaniser Will, he remains adept with amusing asides and flustered emotions. Indeed, the performances are mostly fine. The problem, besides occasionally clumsy editing and direction, is the story. For anyone familiar with Hornby and Grant's past fare, it's deeply predictable. Furthermore, Hornby's crises and characters can be so facile, schematic and smugly moralistic that emotional substance can get overshadowed by fluff.