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About a Boy Review

By Shawn McKenzie 05/24/2002

IA colleague of mine brought up an interesting question the other day:  Why do men hate Hugh Grant?

My guess is because he has pigeon-holed himself into romantic comedies.  He is like the British male Meg Ryan.  As traditionally it is the case, men hate romantic comedies.  I'm not one of those men, but normally guys just don't like chick flicks.  The thing is, if guys would check out a few of them, they might learn some of the mysteries of women, or in the case of About a Boy, why some women hate men.

As with the case of Mel Gibson's 2000 chick flick What Women Want, there is actually something for both sexes to learn about the other.  Hugh Grant's character is the typical male that a lot of women complain about.  He has no life direction, he lies and schemes to women just so he can get lucky, and he doesn't appear to be good father material.  The things that women can learn is the types of things that men say just to get in their pants, and the types of things men think when in a relationship.  The thing that men can learn is what those devious things can do to a woman and what leads them to hate men (moral of the story being that being a jerk is counter-productive.)

Back to the original question:  why do men hate Hugh Grant?  I think that in most of his romantic comedies, he plays a bit of a wishy-washy pushover.  In About a Boy, Grant truly makes you believe he is a lazy, self-centered jerk.  I have seen many men like this (I pride myself on not being one), and he gets it right.

Grant plays Will Freeman, a man whose whole existence seems to be about being self-centered.  He's never been too fond of kids, and even turns down his sister's offer to make him the Godfather of her kids.  He ends up going out with a single mother, and even though that relationship goes nowhere, he finds that dating single mothers is exciting (he gives his selfish reasons for it too.)  One day he goes out with a single mother (who is under the impression that he is a single dad) and her friend's screwed-up 12-year-old kid named Marcus.  Through a series of unfortunate circumstances, Will and Marcus strike up a friendship.  Marcus makes Will look at himself and his selfish ways, and Will tries to teach Marcus to be more normal.

Guys, do you need more of a reason to see this movie besides being able to learn a few things about women?  Okay, how about its credits.  It is directed by Paul and Chris Weitz, the guys behind American Pie.  Also, it is based off of a book by Nick Hornby, the guy who also wrote the book (that also became a great John Cusack/Jack Black movie) High Fidelity.  Is that enough?  Well, that's all I got.  I swear if you end up bringing your girlfriend or wife to this movie, you both won't be disappointed.  Maybe you can watch Spider-Man or Episode 2 afterwards.


Check out the Nick Hornby novel that the movie is based on:

About a Boy




Also available is the original score and songs performed by Badly Drawn Boy:

About a Boy (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)


Buy these items at

Ratings System:


Catch this movie at the theater if you can...

Wait until it comes out on video...

Wait until it plays on HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc...

Demand your money back, even if you saw it for free!

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