Hugh Grant, who has a good line in charm, has never been more charming than in “About a Boy.” Or perhaps that’s not quite what he is. Charming in the Grant stylebook refers to something he does as a conscious act, and what is remarkable here is that Grant is–well, likable. Yes, the cad has developed a heart. There are times, toward the end of the film, where he speaks sincerely and we can actually believe him.
In “About a Boy,” he plays Will, a 38-year-old bachelor who has never had a job, or a relationship that has lasted longer than two months. He is content with this lifestyle. “I was the star of the Will Show,” he explains. “It was not an ensemble drama.” His purpose in life is to date pretty girls. When they ask him what he does, he smiles that self-deprecating Hugh Grant smile and confesses that, well, he does–nothing. Not a single blessed thing. In 1958 his late father wrote a hit song titled “Santa’s Super Sleigh,” and he lives rather handsomely off the royalties. His London flat looks like a showroom for Toys for Big Boys.
Will is the production of Nick Hornby, who composed the first novel. This is the same Hornby who composed High Fidelity, which was made into the awesome John Cusack motion picture. Hornby delineates a specific sort of youthful yet idly earnest man who cherishes Women as a less requesting contrasting option to adoring a lady. Will’s mistake, or maybe it is his salvation, is that he begins dating single parents, supposing they will be less requesting and less demanding to dump than single young ladies.
The technique is defective: Single moms constantly have youngsters, and what Will finds is that while he would make a lousy spouse, he may make a magnificent father. Obviously it takes a tyke to instruct a grown-up how to be a parent, and that is the manner by which Marcus (Nicholas Hoult) comes into Will’s life. Will is dating a single parent named Suzie, who he meets at a care group named Single Parents, Alone Together (SPAT). He boldly asserts that his better half deserted him and their 2-year-old child, “Ned.” Suzie has a companion named Fiona (Toni Collette), whose child, Marcus, tags along one day to the recreation center. We’ve just met Marcus, who is round-confronted and pitiful peered toward and has the sort of blasts that get him prodded in the school play area. His mom experiences wretchedness, and this has made Marcus develop and grave past his years. At the point when Fiona tries to overdose one day, Will gets himself engaged with an excursion to the crisis room and different occasions amid which Marcus concludes that Will has a place in his life whether Will acknowledges it or not.
The core of the film includes the connection amongst Will and Marcus- – who starts by shadowing Will, discovers there is no “Ned,” and closures by coming over all the time to sit in front of the TV. Will has had just a burden with his anecdotal tyke, and now finds that a genuine kid is a cumbersome expansion to the single guy life. Nor is Fiona a dating probability. Marcus had a go at setting them up, however they’re clearly not expected for each another- – not Will with his cool unhitched male atmosphere and Fiona with her Goodwill flower child look and her “wellbeing bread,” which is inedible to the point that little Marcus scarcely has the quality to tear a nibble from the piece. (There is a heartbreaking occurrence in the recreation center when Marcus endeavors to toss the chunk into a lake to bolster the ducks, and slaughters one.) Will finds regrettably that real feelings are framing. He loves Marcus. He doesn’t concede this for quite a while, however he’s a sufficient bloke to purchase Marcus a couple of popular tennis shoes, and to exhort Fiona that since Marcus is as of now derided at school, it is a terrible thought, by definition, for him to sing “Slaughtering Me Softly” at a school get together. In the interim, Will begins dating (Rachel Weisz), who ends up being a considerably more pleasant lady than he merits (she additionally has a child substantially nastier than she merits).
This plot layout, the way things are, could supply the materials for a film of self-satisfied ineptitude – an equation sitcom with one of the Culkin posterity squinting charmingly. It is considerably more than that; it’s one of the year’s most engaging movies, since Grant is so great as well as in light of the fact that youthful Nicholas Hoult has a sort of bid that can’t be faked. He isn’t an ordinarily charming motion picture tyke, appears to be old past his years, can never be gotten in an inauthentic minute, and encourages us comprehend why Will likes him- – he prefers Marcus on the grounds that Marcus is so obviously needing being preferred, thus meriting it.