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*** Official "ABOUT A BOY" Discussion Thread (1 Viewer)

Scott Weinberg

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In a brave (and IMO smart) move of counter-programming, Universal is releasing the "warm & fuzzy" comedy About a Boy against Attack of the Clones. It worked a few summers back when Hugh Grant made some solid coin in Notting Hill while The Phantom Menace was running rampant.
The main difference is that About a Boy is a much better movie than the fairly entertaining Notting Hill. I'll have a review up tomorrow, but I wanted to post a solid recommendation for this one. It's funny and sweet, but not manipulative and trite. Hugh Grant is extremely funny, he has a solid handful of actresses working alongside him (most notably Rachel Weisz and Toni Collette) and newcomer Nicholas Hoult is completely believable as a slightly odd adolescent.
Most important, it's damn funny.
Nobody loves big-budget explosions and dazzling effects more than yours truly, but watching this low-key "people movie" was a great balance to all the "gee-whiz" flicks I've been seeing lately.
If you were on the bubble about this one, go see it. To my knowledge, About a Boy also earns the Jason Whyte seal of enthusiastic approval as well. :)
 

Nick Sievers

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I don't think it comes out here for a while but i've had interest in this film for a while now, it has been recieving some good reviews as well. I was a fan of Notting Hill and will be in line at the theatre to check this one out. I just wish AOTC wasn't the only film being released in my theatre for the next couple of weeks.
 

BrianB

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Have to say, I'm more keen to see this film this weekend than Attack of the Clones. I simply love the book & have been eagerly looking forward to the film since the positive UK reviews.
 

Anthony_J

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Never saw Notting Hill and this kind of movie isn't usually my bag, but Nick Hornby is one of my favorite authors. I'll definitely see this one (unless I can't convince my girlfriend to come with, in which case I'll wait for the DVD).

One question - the plot climax in the book was fairly period specific. Did they retain that for the movie or take some liberties with the story?
 

BrianB

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AFAIK, Anthony, it's got the same time setting. I haven't heard anything otherwise.
 

Jason Whyte

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Damn, Scott beat me to it. I seriously was going to post a thread on this this morning to make sure all you guys get out to see it as well this weekend.l

To my knowledge, About a Boy also earns the Jason Whyte seal of enthusiastic approval as well.
Well I don't know how much faith people put in my opinions, but yes, I LOVED "About A Boy," and it comes as a shocking and pleasant surprise that the directors of "American Pie" of all people came up with such a sharp, literate and funny adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel. The brothers Weitz are quickly becoming responsible, adult filmmakers (although to be fair, I liked "American Pie" as well).

Hugh Grant does some of his very best work here, if not his BEST. His Will is self-centered and shallow, but he's nevertheless a fascinating character, and to see him "grow up" through little Marcus and he speaks his mind very well (watch for a diner confrontation between Grant and Toni Colette - priceless). And Nicolas Hoult, who plays Marcus, is so interesting, has his own world and his own personality that we want to be his friend as well.

It also has one of the year's best soundtracks by Badly Drawn Boy, and I would happily nominate a song or two here for the Best Song oscar.

Although I do feel that "Episode 2" is a better film and should get seen first, as soon as you have, run out and see this one. It's easily an excellent recommend for a date film, of course, but the film is so much more than that.

Jason
 

Dana Fillhart

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Mmmm....Rachel Weisz
htf_images_smilies_yum.gif

Yep, gonna have to see this one...
 

Dana Fillhart

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(off-topic...)
Hey Jason,
I'm moving out to Seattle at the end of May -- one of these summer days we'll have to get together! You can then introduce me to your lovely new friend, miss Julia Stiles! :D
 

Damian James

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Ah finally a film where Hugh Grant isn't a bumbling romantic fool! I think he's a good actor but the nice guy act was getting thin. I'd personally like to see him as the evil mastermind in some thriller. I'll definitely be seeing About A Boy.
 

Robert Crawford

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This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for "About A Boy". Please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.
All HTF member film reviews of "About A Boy" should be posted to this thread.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
Crawdaddy
 

BrianB

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One question - the plot climax in the book was fairly period specific. Did they retain that for the movie or take some liberties with the story?
Saw it last night, and I was completely wrong about them not changing it.

It's most definitely set in 'present day' London, and the Ellie character is very different to the one in the book. She plays a much smaller roll in Marcus' growth. There's no Curt Cobain references at all - it wouldn't make sense with the 'new' Ellie.

Marcus' dad plays a MUCH smaller role in the film.

The ending is completely changed - there's no trip to Cambridge or anything close to it.
 

MartinTeller

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My girlfriend and I did a double feature of About a Boy and Attack of the Clones yesterday... and I would say that I enjoyed both of them equally. A very, very good movie and I look forward to the DVD release. :emoji_thumbsup: :emoji_thumbsup: :emoji_thumbsup:
 

Mark Pfeiffer

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I'll tell you that it's the best film of the year so far. I say this as an admitted Nick Hornby fan who hadn't read the book since it was released. (Thus, some of the changes didn't stand out as I'd forgotten, although the exclusion of the Kurt Cobain stuff is obviously missing.)

Terrific ensemble performances and sharp writing, not to mention a very good directorial job in balancing the demands of all the characters and storylines. Proof that mainstream films don't have be lowest common denominator to please the masses.
 

BrianB

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I've seen a few reviews complain about the 'double voiceover' technique. Have to say I thought it worked fine - Hornby's books are tricky to convert as they have a LOT of internal dialogue, which is always a pain to translate to the 'big screen'.

I thought About A Boy handled it well.
 

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